23 Jun 2011

Gaddafi accuses Nato of murdering civilians

9:44 pm on 23 June 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has accused NATO of murdering civilians in its bombing campaign against his forces, two days after members of the family of a close aide were killed in an air strike.

In a message broadcast by Libyan television, Colonel Gaddafi said NATO was lying when it said it was doing everything it could to avoid non-military targets, the BBC reports. Colonel Gaddafi described those who carried out the bombardment as criminals and barbarians.

Nato has said it regrets any civilian deaths, but that the targeted residence was a command and control centre".

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance's air campaign is protecting civilians and will continue.

Nato is investigating Libyan reports that seven civilians including two children were killed in an air strike last week.