NATO will continue its bombings of Libya, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video address on Wednesday.
Libyan government officials have said that at least five people died in a NATO airstrike last Sunday that hit a three-story house in the city’s Souk al-Juma residential district. NATO is investigating the incident.
“NATO will continue its mission, because if we stop, an unspecified number of civilians would lose their lives,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said NATO personnel would ensure everything was done to prevent civilian deaths in the future. The organization has admitted to hitting mistaken targets in the past.
Earlier Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini spoke for a possible halt in hostilities to allow humanitarian aid through to people. France, however, immediately opposed such possibility.
On June 1, NATO extended its mandate for the Libya operation until late September.
Libya has been rocked with protests against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February. The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution.