NATO has launched an investigation into an alleged airstrike on a residential compound in the Libyan capital that killed several civilians, the BBC reported on Sunday.
Libyan government officials have said that at least five people died in a NATO airstrike early on Sunday that hit a three-storey house in the city’s Souk al-Juma residential district.
“NATO deeply regrets any losses of civilian life during (the Libya) operation and it would be very sorry indeed if a review of this incident concludes it was a NATO operation,” the BBC quoted NATO as saying in a statement.
NATO has admitted hitting mistaken targets in the past.
“Our pilots and air crew go to great lengths to minimalize civilian risk… Those areas that might have been claimed to be residential by the Gaddafi regime in the past have turned out to be being used as C2 nodes (command and control centers),” the statement said.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, paving the way for a military operation against embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which began two days later. The command of the operation was shifted from a U.S.-led international coalition to NATO in late March.
The revolt which began in mid-February in Libya against Gaddafi’s forty-year rule has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi’s troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.