Amnesty accuses Nato of ignoring Libya air-strike deaths

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The Independent Online

Nato has failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the seven-month operation in Libya that helped bring about the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, Amnesty International says.

Echoing similar criticisms aired this month by Russia, Amnesty said yesterday that scores of Libyans, who were not involved in the conflict, had been killed or injured in Nato bombings but there had been no proper investigations.

"Nato officials repeatedly stressed their commitment to protecting civilians," said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis adviser at Amnesty. "They cannot now brush aside the deaths of scores of civilians with some vague statement of regret without properly investigating these deadly incidents."

Inquiries should be held to determine whether any civilian casualties resulted from a breach of international law, and if so, those responsible should be brought to justice, the group said.

The Nato military mission, authorised by the United Nations Security Council, began on 31 March last year with the aim of protecting civilians under attack or threat of attack. Nato forces carried out some 26,000 sorties including about 9,600 strike missions and destroyed about 5,900 targets before operations ended on 31 October.