Libya Buries 11 Imams Killed In Nato Strike

Tripoli, May 15 : Libyans on Saturday buried 11 Muslim clerics killed in what Moamer Gadhafi's regime said was a NATO air strike on the oil city of Brega that the alliance said targeted a
libya buries 11 imams killed in nato strike -...
PTI May 15, 2011 10:57 IST

Tripoli, May 15 : Libyans on Saturday buried 11 Muslim clerics killed in what Moamer Gadhafi's regime said was a NATO air strike on the oil city of Brega that the alliance said targeted a military site.

In Paris, senior Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril met President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the three-month-old conflict and the prospects for a transition.

At least 50 other people were wounded in the NATO attack on the eastern city of Brega that killed 11 imams, or prayer leaders, early on Friday, with five of them in critical condition, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the cemetery in Shatia al-Henshir, east of the capital, shouting "jihad, jihad;" "martyrs of Libya" and "God, Libya and Moamer."

Major Khuildi al-Hamidi, a long-time confidante of Kadhafi, attended the burial, which was punctuated by commemorative gunfire.

In contrast to government accounts, NATO said a "command and control bunker was struck in Brega early (Friday) morning, as the structure was being used by the Kadhafi regime to coordinate strikes against the Libyan civilian population."

"We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur."

An imam at a news conference with Ibrahim, identified as Nureddin al-Mijrah, called for revenge against the countries taking part in air strikes on Libya.

He urged Muslims across the world "to take revenge for our brothers who died today. For every man we should take down one thousand men... from France, Italy, Denmark, Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates."

Kadhafi, whom Italy claimed on Friday might be wounded and on the run, said he was beyond the reach of NATO bombs.

"I want to say to the Crusader cowards that I live in a place where I cannot be reached or killed; I live in the hearts of millions," he said in an audio message aired late Friday on state television.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini had said Kadhafi was "probably outside of Tripoli and probably also injured," and that the reports came from the Roman Catholic bishop of Tripoli.

But the bishop, Giovanni Martinelli, denied making such comment.

"What the foreign minister said is not right because I never said that the Libyan leader was wounded," he told Radio France Internationale. "I only said that he was under psychological shock from the death of his son."

An April 30 air strike missed Kadhafi but killed his son, Seif al-Arab, and three of his grandchildren.

Ibrahim told reporters that Kadhafi was "in very good health, high morale, high spirits," and "he is in Tripoli." (AFP)
TRIPOLI: Libyans on Saturday buried 11 Muslim clerics killed in what Moamer Kadhafi's regime said was a NATO air strike on the oil city of Brega that the alliance said targeted a military site.

In Paris, senior Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril met President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the three-month-old conflict and the prospects for a transition.

At least 50 other people were wounded in the NATO attack on the eastern city of Brega that killed 11 imams, or prayer leaders, early on Friday, with five of them in critical condition, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the cemetery in Shatia al-Henshir, east of the capital, shouting "jihad, jihad;" "martyrs of Libya" and "God, Libya and Moamer."

Major Khuildi al-Hamidi, a long-time confidante of Kadhafi, attended the burial, which was punctuated by commemorative gunfire.

In contrast to government accounts, NATO said a "command and control bunker was struck in Brega early (Friday) morning, as the structure was being used by the Kadhafi regime to coordinate strikes against the Libyan civilian population."

"We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur."

An imam at a news conference with Ibrahim, identified as Nureddin al-Mijrah, called for revenge against the countries taking part in air strikes on Libya.

He urged Muslims across the world "to take revenge for our brothers who died today. For every man we should take down one thousand men... from France, Italy, Denmark, Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates."

Kadhafi, whom Italy claimed on Friday might be wounded and on the run, said he was beyond the reach of NATO bombs.

"I want to say to the Crusader cowards that I live in a place where I cannot be reached or killed; I live in the hearts of millions," he said in an audio message aired late Friday on state television.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini had said Kadhafi was "probably outside of Tripoli and probably also injured," and that the reports came from the Roman Catholic bishop of Tripoli.

But the bishop, Giovanni Martinelli, denied making such comment.

"What the foreign minister said is not right because I never said that the Libyan leader was wounded," he told Radio France Internationale. "I only said that he was under psychological shock from the death of his son."

An April 30 air strike missed Kadhafi but killed his son, Seif al-Arab, and three of his grandchildren.

Ibrahim told reporters that Kadhafi was "in very good health, high morale, high spirits," and "he is in Tripoli." (AFP)

 
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