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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

NATO condemns fiery speech by Libyan leader

By ADAM SCHRECK and DON MELVIN

TRIPOLI, Libya – NATO accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday of using mosques and children’s parks as shields, saying the longtime ruler who lashed out against alliance airstrikes is the one “brutally attacking the Libyan people.”

Gadhafi

In a telephone call piped through loudspeakers to a few thousand people demonstrating in Tripoli’s Green Square on Friday, Gadhafi railed against NATO following a day of intensified bombing runs in the capital. NATO’s mandate is to protect civilians amid a four-month uprising that has devolved into a civil war.

“NATO will be defeated,” Gadhafi yelled in a hoarse, agitated voice to the crowd. “They will pull out in defeat.”

In Brussels on Saturday, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu dismissed Gadhafi’s speech as “outrageous.”

Lungescu

“We are saving countless lives every day across the country,” she said. “We are conducting operations with utmost care and precision to avoid civilian casualties. Civilian casualties figures mentioned by the Libyan regime are pure propaganda.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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