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Monday, May 2, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

NATO says missiles that killed Gadhafi son targeted military site

CAIRO — NATO has killed a son of Moammar Gadhafi in the air war over Libya in a strike it said was aimed at a military target.


The Gadhafi regime said the Libyan ruler survived a NATO air strike that killed his youngest son, Seif Al Arab, Middle East Newsline reported.

"What we have now is the law of the jungle," Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said.

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Ibrahim said Seif, 29, was killed in a NATO air strike on Gadhafi's home on late April 30 in Tripoli. The spokesman, who said NATO fired three missiles, said Seif's three children were also killed.

"We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians," Mussa told a news conference after a tour of Gadhafi's destroyed home.

Western diplomats said the death of Seif would not significantly harm the Gadhafi regime. They said Seif, who survived a U.S. air strike in 1986, played a minor role in the power structure.

"The leader himself is in good health," Mussa said. "He wasn't harmed. His wife is also in good health. This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country."

NATO responded that it had not sought to target the Gadhafi family in the nearly two-month old campaign to help the rebels. But a statement by the Western alliance said it launched air strikes on military targets in Tripoli.

"NATO continued its precision strikes against regime military installations in Tripoli overnight, including striking a known command and control building in the Bab Al Aziziyah neighborhood shortly after 1800 GMT Saturday," NATO said.

In late April, NATO began to bomb targets around Gadhafi's reported home. The first alliance missile strike took place early April 30 near a Libyan television studio during a Gadhafi address to the nation.

"I want to remind again all civilians in Libya to distance themselves as much as possible from Gadhafi regime forces, equipment and known military infrastructure to reduce the potential danger to them," Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, head of the NATO operation, said.

"We should be taking out his command and control, and if he [Gadhafi] is killed or injured because of that, that's fine," U.S. Sen. John McCain, who returned from a visit to Libya, said. "But we ought to have a strategy to help the rebels succeed and overthrow Gadhafi and everybody associated with him."

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