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Russian MP criticizes NATO for Qaddafi air strike

A man inspects damage at the Qaddafi family compound in a residential area of Tripoli. Qaddafi escaped NATO air strike (AP)

Source : Reuters

Moscow | 01 May 2011

A NATO air strike in Tripoli that Libyan officials say killed a son and three grandchildren of leader Muammar Qaddafi was proof the coalition was not protecting civilians, a Russian parliament member said.

Russia has been an outspoken critic of the Western military alliance’s intervention in Libya and has repeatedly said it was concerned at the use of force mandated by the United Nations.

“(It is) a clear confirmation of the indiscriminate use of force by the anti-Libyan coalition,” Konstantin Kosachev told Interfax news agency on Sunday.

“More and more facts indicate that the purpose of the anti-Libyan coalition is to physically destroy Qaddafi,” said the MP, who heads the lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee.

He said he was “very surprised by the total silence” from the leaders of the United States, France and other Western countries. “We all have a right to expect their prompt, exhaustive and objective evaluation of the actions taken by the coalition,” he said.

NATO denied targeting Qaddafi or his family in the Saturday evening bombing, but said it had launched air strikes on military targets. Libyan officials said there had been an “assassination attempt.”

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said Qaddafi’s youngest son Saif Al-Arab, 29, had been killed in the attack along with three of Qaddafi’s grandchildren.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has criticized the Western countries enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya and said they have gone beyond the limits of a UN Security Council resolution designed to protect civilians.

Russia holds the power of veto as a permanent member of the Security Council but abstained in March in a vote on a resolution authorizing force to protect civilians.


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