NATO has acknowledged that its planes struck Libyan rebels manning tanks outside the contested port of Brega. The crowd was angry in Benghazi’s central square Friday as the coffins of the victims were carried through.
Another 13 Libyan rebels are reported killed after NATO jets mistakenly hit their convoy in ‘friendly fire’. Four missiles from NATO aircraft hit the 30-vehicle convoy, which included a bus carrying rebel soldiers about 12 miles outside of Brega, Libya.
Rear Admiral Russell Harding, the deputy commander of NATO forces in Libya acknowledged Friday in Naples, Italy that rebel tanks hit outside the eastern oil town of Brega, Libya the day before, but blamed the deadly incident on a lack of communication from the rebels. The rebels never indicated they had tanks.
The tanks included several Soviet-made T-72s that were seized from Gadhafi’s army, and were being operated by rebels, known as the Transitional National Council or TNC Forces.
However, General Abdulfatah Younis, a rebel commander, reported that his forces informed NATO that they were moving about 20 tanks from the rebel capital of Benghazi to the frontline near Brega.
NATA are investigating cases, which might total three times that rebels or civilians have been killed after being mistaken for pro-Gaddafi forces.
McClatchy Newspapers: NATO admits deadly airstrike but blames Libyan rebels