Three journalists were reportedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.
SBS News tweeted: “Three journalists have reportedly been killed in a NATO air strike while on state television in Libya.”
Uruknet wrote: “Libya says three journalists have been killed in a NATO air strike on state television, and that the murder of the rebels’ army chief proves al-Qaeda is instigating the country’s armed revolt.
‘Three of our colleagues were murdered and 15 injured while performing their professional duty as Libyan journalists,’ said Khaled Basilia, director of Al-Jamahiriya television’s English-language service.”
NATO later published a statement on the incident: “A few hours ago, NATO conducted a precision airstrike that disabled three ground-based Libyan state TV satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli. The strike, performed by NATO fighter aircraft using state-of-the art precision guided munitions, was conducted in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, with the intent of degrading Qadhafi’s use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them.
Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them. Qadhafi’s increasing practice of inflammatory broadcasts illustrates his regime’s policy to instill hatred amongst Libyans, to mobilize its supporters against civilians and to trigger bloodshed.
In light of our mandate to protect civilian lives, we had to act. After due consideration and careful planning to minimize the risks of casualties or long-term damage to television transmission capabilities, NATO performed the strike and we are now in the process of assessing its effect. Striking specifically these critical satellite dishes will reduce the regime’s ability to oppress civilians while at the same time preserve television broadcast infrastructure that will be needed after the conflict.”
Amnesty International wrote on that matter that it “did not have the opportunity to monitor and analyse the full content of Libyan state television broadcasts when it was under the control of Colonel al-Gaddafi, but the question of whether Colonel al-Gaddafi is using television broadcasts to instil hatred and mobilize its supporters is not the determining criteria for whether television transmitters are military objectives. The definition of military objective in Article 52(2) of Protocol I, which reflects customary IHL, specifies that ‘military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage#. Propaganda is not ‘an effective contribution to military action’ and it is difficult to consider that the destruction of the transmitters offers ‘an anticipated definite military advantage’.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.