Libya: Coalition Air Strike Killed Toddler

Regime shows media first credible evidence of civilian casualty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2011 1:41 AM CDT
Libya: Coalition Air Strike Killed Toddler
In this image taken during a trip organized by Libyan authorities, damage is seen inside a house supposedly hit by a rocket in Gharyan, 62 miles southwest of Tripoli.   (AP Photo/Albert Facelly,Sipa Press)

The Libyan regime has presented what appears to be the first credible case of a civilian killed by coalition air strikes. Reporters were escorted to a village in western Libya where a family mourned their 18-month-old son, who authorities say was killed when a rocket pierced the home following a NATO strike on a nearby ammunition dump. Moammar Gadhafi's regime has claimed other civilians have been killed by Western strikes, but has offered little solid evidence, AP notes.

Unlike in other places where Libyan authorities have taken reporters, the village where the boy died was free of green flags and of residents loudly demonstrating their support for Gadhafi, the Los Angeles Times notes. A reporter from the New York Times was approached by villagers—including some of the boy's relatives—who said they hated Gadhafi and didn't blame NATO for the death. "For 42 years, it has been dark," one man said. "Anyone who speaks, he kills. Everyone here wants Gadhafi to go.” (More Libya stories.)

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