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Libyan Government: 85 Civilians, Including 33 Children, Killed in NATO Air Strike in Majar

The Libyan government says 85 civilians, including 33 children and 32 women, have been killed in a NATO air strike on a village in the western part of the country.

According to the BBC, the attack took place in Majar, south of Zlitan. Libyan officials say 85 innocent civilians were killed; international journalists saw dozens of body bags, some containing women and children, at a hospital in Zlitan.

NATO has confirmed carrying out the strike, but says the target was of a military nature.

“NATO had very clear intelligence demonstrating that former farm buildings were being used as a staging point for pro-Gaddafi forces to conduct attacks against the people of Libya,” a statement from the alliance said.

But instead of protecting the Libyan people, as the U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force against Gaddafi’s forces mandates, NATO has been killing them.

“[NATO] does not differentiate between soldiers, children and old people,” medical student Abdulkader al-Hawali told Reuters at Zlitan hospital.

A 15-year-old girl, Salwa Jawu, told reporters that her mother, two sisters, brother and his wife were all killed in the latest air strikes. Salwa suffered a broken shoulder and wounds to her face in the attack as well.

“I don’t know why they would attack us,” she told the BBC. “We are civilians.”

It is believed that NATO bombed the village of Majar in order to allow anti-government rebels to advance on Zlitan from the coastal city of Misrata, which lies 45 miles (70km) to the east.

Last week, a NATO air strike on Zlitan killed a mother and two children. Three civilians were also killed last week in a deliberate attack on Libyan state television. Late last month, NATO bombed a hospital in the same city, killing seven. In June, a deliberate NATO attack on the home of a Libyan government official killed 19 civilians, including eight children and a pregnant woman. That strike came just days after a “weapons system failure” resulted in the errant bombing of a family’s home, an attack which killed nine innocent civilians, including two babies. In May, NATO bombed the home of one of Gaddafi’s sons, killing him along with three of the dictator’s grandchildren. This is not a complete list of NATO’s slaughter of innocent Libyan civilians, the very people the alliance is supposedly protecting from Gaddafi’s wrath.

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