Libya blast kills seven civilians: report

1st April 2011, Comments 0 comments

An explosion near the front lines of Libya's civil war killed seven civilians, including children, a French journalist at the nearby hospital where they were taken said on Friday.

The BBC cited a doctor in the village of Zawia al-Argobe as saying the deaths were caused by a NATO air strike on Wednesday that hit an ammunition truck belonging to strongman Moamer Kadhafi's forces.

The explosion engulfed two houses, and those killed were between the ages of 12 and 20, the doctor said.

It was not possible to reach the area of the incident, which is near the front, in territory held by Kadhafi's troops and off limits to reporters.

The journalist, who spoke to AFP, was at a hospital in the rebel-held town of Ajdabiya when those who had been fatally wounded were brought in.

France, Britain and the United States launched an air and missile campaign targeting Kadhafi's military on March 19 in support of civilians threatened by his forces in the revolt against his 41-year rule that erupted a month before.

NATO, which has since taken over the mission, said it was probing whether it was involved in the reported killing of 40 people during a raid on Tripoli.

News reports citing an Italian Catholic bishop in the capital said the 40 were killed when a building collapsed during the bombing.

The air strikes were authorised by a UN resolution for the protection of civilians from Kadhafi's forces, and there have been very few independent reports of civilian deaths from the strikes.

Kadhafi's regime has said the air strikes have killed around 100 civilians, but it has provided little evidence to support its claims and does not allow journalists to move freely in the areas under its control.

© 2011 AFP

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