Sunday, May 01, 2011
The youngest son of Muammar Gaddafi was killed in a NATO airstrike on a house where the Libyan leader and his famliy were staying at the time, a government spokesman said Sunday.
The raid resulted in the deaths of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, the youngest son of Gaddafi, and three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren, spokesman Mossa Ibrahim told a press conference.
The Libyan leader himself and his wife, who were in the house at the time, were in good health, while some other people were injured in the attack, Ibrahim said.
This was a direct act to assassinate the Libyan leader, a violation of international law which has no legal or political justifications, he said.
After the raid which took place around 8:00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) Saturday, Ibrahim took a group of journalists to the site of of the house, that is located in a residential area in western Tripoli.
Hit by three missiles, the three-storey building was partially destroyed, with roofs completely caved in some portions, leaving mangled rods of reinforcing steel hanging down among splintered chunks of concrete.
While two of the missiles had exploded, the third was seen lying in one of the rooms of the building.
After the airstrike, large numbers of Libyans took to the streets, protesting the NATO strikes against civilians and expressing their support to Gaddafi’s family.
Prior to the raid, Gaddafi floated on Saturday a proposal for a cease-fire and negotiations in a televised speech while asserting that he won’t leave the country.
He said all parties concerned should follow the truce, and the NATO forces must stop their attacks.
Gaddafi ruled out the possibility he will quit and leave Libya, which he has been ruling over the past 41 years.
Since March 19, the Western powers have been launching attacks from the air and sea on Gaddafi’s forces after the UN Security Council passed a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.
Gadhafi Offers Truce as NATO Strikes Tripoli
Posted Apr 30, 2011 6:27 AM CDT
(AP) – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called for a ceasefire and negotiations with NATO powers in a live speech on state TV early Saturday, just as NATO bombs struck a government complex in the Libyan capital. The targeted compound included the state television building and a Libyan official alleged the strikes were meant to kill Gadhafi. However, the TV building was not damaged and Gadhafi spoke from an undisclosed location.
In the rambling pre-dawn speech, Gadhafi appeared both subdued and defiant, repeatedly pausing as he flipped through handwritten notes. “The door to peace is open,” he said. “You are the aggressors. We will negotiate with you. Come, France, Italy, UK, America, come, we will negotiate with you. Why are you attacking us?” He said Libyans have the right to choose their own political system, but not under the threat of NATO bombings. Rebel leaders say they won’t lay down their arms until Gadhafi and his sons step aside.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
“The house of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told reporters at press conference in Tripoli early on Sunday morning, AFP reported.
“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of Saif al-Arab, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” Ibrahim said.
“The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed. His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, (but) other people were injured,” he added.
“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” he stated.
In the attacks, three massive explosions ripped through Gaddafi’s headquarters in Tripoli on Saturday evening.
Volleys of anti-aircraft fire rang out following the first two strikes on Bab al-Aziziya. The aerial attacks were followed by a third from the same direction, AFP reported.
The strikes came after the Libyan government accused NATO of bombing a center for physically challenged children in Tripoli earlier on Saturday.
Meanwhile, 13 powerful explosions rocked the Libyan port city of Misratah late on Saturday as NATO warplanes struck targets in the opposition-held city.
Earlier in the day, Gaddafi said he would not step down, but he was ready for a ceasefire and negotiations, provided that NATO halted its airstrikes.
Rejecting his offer, NATO announced that it would only consider a ceasefire after Gaddafi forces stop attacking civilians.
The opposition has also dismissed Gaddafi’s ceasefire proposal, saying he has no part to play in the country’s future.
And despite Gaddafi’s calls for a ceasefire, regime forces later rained mortar shells and rockets on Misratah, killing at least 15 people, including a nine-year-old boy.
The regime is trying to block access to Misratah by sea and has threatened to target any ships that enter the port city.
Iran has cast doubt on the US bombardment of Libya, saying Washington seeks to take control of Libya’s oil reserves and other natural resources rather than helping its people.
“We have doubt about the US and NATO purpose behind conducting a military operation against Libya. It seems that they intend to (take control of) Libya’s oil wells and maintain deals of their oil companies rather than helping the Libyan people,” IRNA quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as speaking to reporters in the Cuban capital, Havana, on Saturday.
He added that the US explicitly supported the ousted dictators in Tunisia and Egypt till the last minute “but it changed its stance immediately after the collapse of the two dictatorships by their people.”
The Iranian spokesman strongly questioned the US military intervention in internal affairs of other countries and the fate of people in the Middle East and North Africa.
His remarks come as the United States on Wednesday permitted oil deals with Libyan Transitional National Council.
The order, issued by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, will remove legal difficulties pertaining to the ownership of Libya’s oil for potential buyers.
Mehmanparast further described as “politically-motivated” Washington’s claims about human rights, saying, “The US has not yet been able to give explanation to world nations about its inhumane attitude and torture in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons.”
“How is it possible that US officials and the media express concern about human rights conditions in certain countries but turn a blind eye toward the fate of people in Bahrain and Yemen?”
The Iranian spokesperson reiterated that the United States is “the biggest violator of human rights in the world.”
Mehmanparast also touched upon the “best” level of political relations between Tehran and Havana and envisaged a bright future in Iran’s cooperation with Latin America countries.
He pointed out that Iran has the know-how to explore and exploit oil and gas and expressed the country’s readiness to transfer its experience to Cuba.
The Iranian spokesperson also met with Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Marcos Rodriguez Costa on Thursday in Havana, where the two officials criticized the United States for its “double-standard” approach toward the crises in the Middle East and North Africa.
UPDATE: Go to
to read story about burning of U.S., British and Italian embassies in Libya in response to the killings of Gadhafi’s family members. The article says the attack on Gadhafi’s son’s house killed a 6-month-old granddaughter, a 2-year-old grandson and a 2-year-old granddaughter, as well as a friend of Saif al-Arab Gadhafi.