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NATO airstrike flaws killed Libyans

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Unread 12.18.11, 04:51 PM
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NATO airstrike flaws killed Libyans

12.18.11 09:01 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The NATO air campaign in Libya appears to have caused 40-70 civilian deaths despite its surgical precision, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper said this weekend while the toll was lower than Moammar Gadhafi's regime had claimed, it also included a number of claims NATO had not acknowledged or investigated.

"From what you have gathered on the ground, it appears that innocent civilians may have been killed or injured, despite all the care and precision," said Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for NATO headquarters in Brussels. "We deeply regret any loss of life."

Lungescu said the alliance was ready to work with the new Libyan government on further investigations.

The Times, which pored over a large number of NATO reports and witness interviews, said a particularly dangerous practice was the quick follow-up attacks that followed an initial strike on a target. The timing sometimes resulted in rescue workers and civilian onlookers being caught in the second attack.

Factors that led to the erroneous strikes included incomplete intelligence and a lack of forward air observers on the ground who could eyeball a target before the planes arrived on the scene.

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