Libyan Official Confirms Muammar Gaddafi’s Son Saif Al-Arab Killed In NATO Strike
Libyan official says Saif al-Arab, Gadhafi's sixth son, was killed during NATO attempt to assassinate the Libyan Leader at his Tripoli compound, adding both Gadhafi and his wife escaped the strike unscathed.
Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, the son of beleaguered Libyan Leader Muammer Gadhafi was killed in a NATO airstrike, a Libyan government official said on Saturday, in a may have been an attempt on his father's life.
Initial reports stated allied warplanes struck Gadhafi's Tripoli compound late Saturday, resulting in the death of Saif al-Arab, 29, Gadhafi's sixth son.
A government spokesman speaking to reporters following the incident claimed the bombing was an attempt on the Libya Leader's life, adding that both Gadhafi the father and his wife escaped the attack unscathed.
The attack took place following NATO's dismissal of a Gadhafi ceasefire offer earlier Saturday, saying Western air strikes on government forces in Libya will continue as long as civilians are threatened.
"We need to see actions, not words," a NATO official told Reuters.
Libyan rebels also rejected Gadhafi's offer on Saturday, saying "the time for compromise has passed."
"The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gadhafi's regime plays any role," Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel's transitional national council, said in a statement. "Gadhafi's regime has lost all credibility."
In a speech broadcast on Libyan state television, Gadhafi offered to order a ceasefire and start negotiations provided that provided NATO stop its strikes against his forces but he refused to step down, which Western powers see as a precondition to peace in Libya.
"NATO will continue operations until all attacks and threats against civilians have ceased, until all of Gadhafi's forces have returned to base and until there is a full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance," said the NATO official.
The military alliance, fulfilling a United Nations mandate to protect civilians during a bloody crackdown on an anti-government rebellion in Libya, has in the past rejected
Gadhafi's calls for truce.
"The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians ... Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable," the NATO official said.
He declined to comment whether NATO would be open to meeting Gadhafi's representatives for talks, if contacts for such talks were made.
As the news just broke minutes ago, the only confirmations of the news come via Twitter, where @BreakingNews confirmed his death:
Loud Explosions Were Heard In The Libyan Capital Tripoli
Three loud explosions were heard from the direction of Bab al-Aziziya, the area where Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi's compound is located, as NATO jets overflew Tripoli on Saturday evening.
Volleys of anti-aircraft fire rang out following the first two strikes, which were followed by a third from the same direction.
The strikes came after the Libyan government accused NATO of bombing a civil society building in the capital earlier in the day.
Social affairs minister Ibrahim al-Sherif told reporters at a partially destroyed building near the coast of Tripoli that it had been targeted by an air strike, in what he termed a "barbaric act."
Mohammed al-Mehdi, the head of the Civil Society Council, whose office was damaged in the blast, said three guards were wounded in the explosion, which occurred on Saturday morning.
A school for children with Downs Syndrome, which adjoins the area of the building that was destroyed, was also damaged.
Meanwhile, Catholic Bishop Giovanni Martinelli told reporters gathered at the building he was against air strikes on Libya, saying "the bomb is not the solution."
He said he had conveyed this position to both the Vatican and the Italian government. Asked about strikes that Libya has carried out, he said it was not his place to comment.
He also said that Pope John Paul II, who is to be beatified tomorrow, was "a good friend of Libya," noting that he had established diplomatic relations in 1997.
An international coalition began carrying out strikes on forces loyal to Gaddafi on March 19 under a United Nations Security Council mandate to protect Libyan civilians.
NATO took command of operations over Libya on March 31.
Massive protests in February -- inspired by the revolts that toppled long-time autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia -- escalated into war when Gaddafi's troops fired on demonstrators and protesters seized several eastern towns.