May 1, 2011 / 1:57 AM / 9 years ago

NATO says airstrikes not targeting Gaddafi

BRUSSELS, May 1 (Reuters) - NATO denied targeting members of Muammar Gaddafi’s family on Sunday, after a Libyan government spokesman said the leader had survived a NATO air strike in Tripoli that killed his youngest son and three grandchildren.

The Western alliance, which is conducting airstrikes to protect civilians during an anti-Gaddafi rebellion, confirmed one of its targets included a command centre in the Tripoli neighbourhood late on Saturday in which the Libyan spokesman said Gadaffi and his family were targeted.

“NATO continued its precision strikes against (Gaddafi) regime military installations in Tripoli overnight, including striking a known command and control building in the Bab al-Azizya neighbourhood shortly after 1800 GMT Saturday evening,” it said. NATO’s commander of Libya operations, Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said the target was part of a strategy to hit Gaddafi’s command centres that threaten civilians.

“All NATO’s targets are military in nature ... We do not target individuals,” he said in a statement.

“I am aware of unconfirmed media reports that some of Gaddafi’s family members may have been killed,” he said. “We regret all loss of life.” (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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