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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

NATO says airstrike mistakenly hit Libyan rebels

Libyan rebel fighters near Brega

By ADAM SCHRECK and DON MELVIN

TRIPOLI, Libya – NATO said Saturday it mistakenly struck a column of Libyan rebel vehicles in an airstrike near an eastern oil town two days earlier and expressed regret for any casualties that might have resulted.

The alliance has accidentally hit rebel forces before in its air campaign to protect civilians in the civil war between Moammar Gadhafi’s military and the fighters trying to end his more than four decades in power. The rebels have also complained that NATO’s strikes have not helped them gain decisive momentum against the Libyan leader’s better trained and equipped military, which still has firm control over most of western Libya. The rebels control much of the east.

The alliance statement gave no figures on casualties from Thursday’s airstrike, but said it regretted “any possible loss of life or injuries caused by this unfortunate incident.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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