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BREAKING: Libya Spokesman Says NATO Strike Killed 3 of Qaddafi’s Grandsons UPDATE: Attack Also Reportedly Kills Qaddafi’s Youngest Son, Saif al-Arab, 29

Posted on | April 30, 2011 | 14 Comments

An urgent dispatch from Reuters but no details yet.

UPDATE: Al-Jazeera confirms and adds detail:

Saif al-Arab, the youngest son of the Libyan leader, has been killed in a NATO air strike, a Libyan government spokesman said.
The spokesman said Muammar Gaddafi was unharmed but three of his grandsons were also killed in the attack in Tripoli on Saturday. . . .
“The leader himself is in good health, he wasn’t harmed,” the spokesman said, adding that Muammar Gaddafi’s wife was also unharmed but other people in the house were injured.
“This was a direct attempt to assassinate the leader of the country”, he said. . . .
The 29-year-old Saif al-Arab Gaddafi is the most unknown of the Libyan leader’s children.

UPDATE II: Now Reuters has a write-through:

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi survived a NATO airstrike on Saturday night that killed his youngest son Saif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren, a Libyan government spokesman said.
Mussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab was a civilian and a student who had studied in Germany. He was 29 years old.
Libyan officials took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles. The roof had completely caved in in some areas, leaving strings of reinforcing steel hanging down among chunks of concrete.
A table football machine stood outside in the garden of the house, which was in a wealthy residential area of Tripoli.

UPDATE III: BBC has video of the press announcement by spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, who said that Qaddafi was in the house when it was hit. 

UPDATE IV: From the Associated Press:

Gadhafi and his wife were in the Tripoli house of his 29-year-old son, Seif al-Arab Gadhafi, when it was hit by at least one bomb dropped from a NATO warplane, according to Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
Seif al-Arab Gadhafi was the sixth son of Gadhafi and brother of the better known Seif al-Islam Gadhafi. . . .
“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Seif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” Ibrahim said. . . .
Seif al-Arab “was playing and talking with his father and mother and his nieces and nephews and other visitors when he was attacked for no crimes committed,” Ibrahim said.

UPDATE V: Via Mediaite, a video report from CNN:

Now a Memeorandum thread

UPDATE VI: Drew M. at AOSHQ notes that this attack points toward “mission creep” in Libya:

So, I’m still unclear if the purpose of the NATO mission is to topple the regime and/or kill Gaddafi or just protect civilians. I’m not a military expert but I’m not clear on how bombing someone’s home protects civilians hundreds of miles away. Actually, I do (no Gaddafi, no danger) but I was told by the President that killing Gaddafi wasn’t part of out military strategy. It’s almost like Obama and the rest of the NATO leaders are saying one thing but acting very differently.

How does the slogan “Obama lied, three little kids died” work for you guys? Nah, me neither. After Lockerbie, you can’t expect Americans to work up any sympathy for Qaddafi’s family, even if they are innocent civilians.

Still, it’s hard for the U.S. to pretend it’s not going for “regime change” after this. And that United Nations Security Council resolution doesn’t say jack about “regime change.”

NOTE: What was originally my first update to this breaking story confused the attack that killed Saif al-Arab with a different attack aimed at Qaddafi that also hit a school for Down Syndrome children:

It was unclear what the target of the strike was, though Libyan officials said it was Muammar Gaddafi himself, who was giving a live television address at the time.
“They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non-governmental building,” said Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council, which licenses and oversees civil groups in Libya.
The missile completely destroyed an adjoining office in the compound that houses the government’s commission for children.
The force of the blast blew in windows and doors in the parent-funded school for children with Down’s Syndrome and officials said it damaged an orphanage on the floor above.

BTW, thanks to Brittany Cohan on Twitter for the alert.


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