JNN 01 May 2011 : Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has survived an attempt on his life, but the attack did kill his youngest son and other family members, the Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim announced.Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and three of Gaddafi’s grandsons have been killed in a NATO airstrike.
“The house of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives,” Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told reporters at press conference in Tripoli early on Sunday morning, AFP reported.
“The attack resulted in the martyrdom of Saif al-Arab, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren,” Ibrahim said.
“The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed. His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, (but) other people were injured,” he added.
“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” he stated.
In the attacks, three massive explosions ripped through Gaddafi’s headquarters in Tripoli on Saturday evening.
Volleys of anti-aircraft fire rang out following the first two strikes on Bab al-Aziziya. The aerial attacks were followed by a third from the same direction, AFP reported.
The strikes came after the Libyan government accused NATO of bombing a center for physically challenged children in Tripoli earlier on Saturday.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed serious doubt over the coalition members’ statements that the strikes on Libya are not aimed at destroying Gaddafi or his family. The ministry also accuses the coalition of exceeding UN Resolution 1973, Interfax reported on Sunday.
“The statements of the coalition members, declaring that the purpose of strikes on Libya is not the physical elimination of Muammar Gaddafi and members of his family raise grave doubts. As we have forewarned, disproportionate use of force, especially exceeding the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which does not presuppose the change of leadership in the Libyan Jamahiriya, has been leading to harmful consequences and deaths of innocent people,” said the ministry in its Sunday statement.
Konstantin Kosachev, Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, has called on the Western coalition to undertake a prompt evaluation of its actions.
“More and more facts indicate that the purpose of the anti-Libyan coalition is to physically destroy Gaddafi,” said Kosachev as cited by Interfax.
Meanwhile, 13 powerful explosions rocked the Libyan port city of Misratah late on Saturday as NATO warplanes struck targets in the opposition-held city.
Earlier in the day, Gaddafi said he would not step down, but he was ready for a ceasefire and negotiations, provided that NATO halted its airstrikes.
Rejecting his offer, NATO announced that it would only consider a ceasefire after Gaddafi forces stop attacking civilians.
The opposition has also dismissed Gaddafi’s ceasefire proposal, saying he has no part to play in the country’s future.
And despite Gaddafi’s calls for a ceasefire, regime forces later rained mortar shells and rockets on Misratah, killing at least 15 people, including a nine-year-old boy.
The regime is trying to block access to Misratah by sea and has threatened to target any ships that enter the port city.