Between 11 and 16 civilians were reported killed in a NATO airstrike on Brega.
Both the BBC and the Washington Post said that eleven clerics were killed in the attack, while Reuters noted that “Nine imams were among 11 people killed in a strike on a guest house in the eastern city of Brega on Friday, the government said. The other two were buried elsewhere.”
Libyan State TV was reported to have declared that 16 civilians were killed in the attack. And the Express Tribune added that 50 people were allegedly wounded.
Al Jazeera wrote: “On Friday, a Libyan military source said that 16 people were killed and 30 wounded in the NATO raid on a guesthouse in Buraiqa, when at the time of the raid dozens of clerics came to attend a celebration. On Friday, Libyan state television showed scenes of nine bodies with several injuries.”
Reuters and The Express Tribune additionally quoted NATO officials commenting on the allegation: “Command and control bunker was struck in Brega early this (Friday) morning, as the structure was being used by the Qaddafi regime to coordinate strikes against the Libyan civilian population.
We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur.”
The Eg-11 Blog posted the following: “A spokesman for the Libyan revolutionaries, Ahmed Bani, denied, on Friday, that any civilian had been killed due to the bombing by NATO fighter jets in the city of Brega.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (15) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the town of Brega (البريقة), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.411123, 19.570076. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
NATO forces Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Mar 8, 2012
The Marsa El Brega Residence and Command Bunker Facility served as the primary C2 facility for forces fielded by the 32d Brigade in and around Brega. It was deliberately targeted and struck on 13 May. During engagement of the target, it was positively identified and four precision-guided munitions were dropped. The strike was highly effective, and decisively degraded command and control in the Brega area. Battle damage assessment indicated no collateral damage. After this strike, an engineer who had been involved in the design and construction of the command bunker facility publicly confirmed that it had been constructed for Col. Gaddafi and had been purpose built for command and control functions.
Original strike reports
In the vicinity of Brega: 2 Tanks.