25 May 2011 — RIA Novosti
NATO airstrikes on Libyan capital, Tripoli, killed at least 19 civilians over the past 24 hours, the Libyan state television reported.
NATO warplanes stepped up their bombing of government facilities in Tripoli on Tuesday in an attempt to speed up the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
‘Nineteen civilians were killed and 150 were injured as a result of NATO strikes on Tripoli and its environs,’ the Jamahiriya television reported late on Tuesday.
NATO said in a statement that the airstrikes targeted exclusively military facilities and weaponry that Gaddafi regime uses to ‘harm the Libyan people.’
The revolt, which began in mid-February in Libya against Gaddafi’s forty-year rule, has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi’s troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.
Fourteen of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo in response to attacks on civilians.
Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday that NATO operations in Libya are only aimed at bringing down the Gaddafi regime.
Rogozin said Russia would formally ask NATO to clarify reports about an imminent ground operation in Libya during a NATO-Russia Council meeting on Wednesday.