Between 48 and 64 civilians were killed during the first day of NATO airstrikes in Libya, according to Gaddafi regime media. However, these numbers are heavily contested by non-partisan sources.
Doualia wrote at the time: “Air strikes on several Libyan cities killed 48 people and wounded 150 in ‘civilian areas,’ a statement on Libyan state television said.”
The Telegraph contested these numbers in its own reporting: “Libyan officials said that 64 ‘martyrs”‘ had been hit in the attacks and that the coaltion had targeted military facilities protected by civilians as well as civilian buildings. However claims by one top Gaddafi aide that the hospital and ambulances were filling up were left unsubstantiated.
Security forces reportedly refused to allow journalists access to hospitals or morgues. One woman who had accessed a hospital in Tajoura, a suburb of Tripoli where an anti-aircraft battery was blown up, said nursing staff were preparing beds for wounded but that none had turned up.
Eyewitness said the likelihood of casualties at another target – Mitika airbase in Tripoli – was also low. No ambulance arrived or left the base hours after the hit.”
The Telegraph added: “State television show thousands of human shields congregating at potential targets across the country, including Col Gaddafi’s headquarters in central Tripoli. Tents have been set up around the concrete walls of the heavily defended compounds. Aides continued to bus thousands of loyalists, who were provided with money, food and soft drink, to act as human shields at airports, government buildings and military installations across Libya.”
On this day, NATO strikes were officially reported in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sirte and on the Al Watiyah airbase.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Reports of the incident mention the cities of Tripoli (طرابلس), Benghazi (بنغازي), Sirte (سرت), Misurata (مصراتة), and the Al Watiyah Airbase (الوطية الجوية). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these locations are: 31.155680, 16.555218.