NATO massacred 85 civilian villagers, including 33 children, during air strikes Monday night near the frontline city of Zlitan. Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, says NATO bombed seven isolated farmhouses around 11p.m., wiping out 20 rural families so the rebels CONTRAS could penetrate the city.
The city of Zlitan has held out against the CONTRAS for the past two months. It is strategically important because it straddles the main highway between the rebel-controlled city of Misrata, and Tripoli, which is around 120 miles further to the west.
Journalists were shown two demolished houses Tuesday morning about six miles southeast of Zlitan. Local eyewitnesses said NATO hit one house, trapping occupants in the rubble, and hit it again when neighbors rushed to the scene to assist with the rescue effort.
Reporters were taken to the Zlitan Hospital morgue where several dozen bodies in white body-bags were lined up along the floor. The bodies included women and children.
Journalists were then taken to the nearby village of Majar where more of NATO’s victims were being buried. Thousands of mourners crowded around a graveyard for the service. Twenty eight coffins were carried from the back of pick-up trucks and laid side by side in a large forecourt. Tribal Sheik Mohammad Al-Josh said the cemetery was last used a hundred years ago to bury those who died fighting against the Italian colonial occupation.
All told, the NATO strike killed 33 children, 32 women and 20 men.
NATO continues to say the mission is to “protect civilians.”
Journalists were also taken to a rural location south of Tripoli, where they were shown isolated buildings that had been struck from the air. At the hospital, 15-year-old Salwa Jawu had a broken shoulder and wounds on her face. She said the NATO air strikes had killed her mother, two sisters, her brother, and his wife.
A blogger in Tripoli says NATO has been bombing civilian neighborhood watch points in the city. NATO also bombs any road checkpoint anywhere in Libya that is not operated by the rebel thugs.
She asks why there are no demonstrations against this in the West.
(Demonstrations do little good. There was massive demonstration across the entire planet during the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq. Washington ignored them.)
The cowardly NATO forces usually strike late at night. Often they hit the same targets over and over, e.g. the Bab Alziza compound, where civilians continue to gather in defiance of NATO.
“Person after person asked us why they were being targeted when they had nothing to do with the military or the government.”
“I spoke to one Fathy Ab al Siame, whose adult son Walid was killed (along with three of Walid’s friends) by British Apache helicopters when they drove to go and have an evening meal.”
“We then visited a primary girls school that was all but unrecognizable after it was targeted by four NATO missiles. For every adult martyred the number of children martyred beside them is multiplied.”
“The people’s defiance is fueled not just by NATO’s savage attacks, but also by the loss of the life they once had. Before the attack, there were frustrations, but these were caused by a few corrupt individuals in the government, who were flushed out when they defected to NATO just before the attack began five months ago.”