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NATO confirms Zliten raids, probes claims of Gaddafi's son death

NATO officals confirm strikes by its warplanes in western Zliten, where Gaddafi's son believed to be killed

AFP , Friday 5 Aug 2011
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NATO on Friday confirmed strikes by its warplanes in and around western Zliten the previous day but had no comment on Libyan claims that Muammar Gaddafi's son Khamis and 30 others died in the raid.

"We are aware of the news reports," a NATO official told AFP.

"NATO struck an ammunitiion storage at around 8:15 pm (1815 GMT) in Zliten and a military police facility within a combat area at around 10:45 pm in the area of Zliten yesterday," he added.

As Tripoli accused the alliance of targeting civilians, a rebel spokesman in Libya told AFP that Khamis Gaddafi, 28, was confirmed among the dead in a NATO strike on a command centre in the western town.

"NATO does not target individuals and takes all allegations about civilian casualties very seriously and we are looking into it as we always do," the NATO official said.

The strike appears to have come just hours after Tripoli took journalists on an escorted tour of the centre of Zliten in an effort to rubbish rebel claims of attacking the strategic coastal centre on the road to the capital.

On Thursday an AFP journalist saw the town centre was in the hands of regime forces, although intensive artillery fire was heard in the distance.

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