Nato denies Libya claim of civilian deaths in airstrikes

Meanwhile, in a likely propaganda coup against Gadhafi in football-mad Libya, 17 of the country’s top players, including national goalkeeper Juma Gtat, have defected to rebels battling to oust him, the BBC reported.

“The colonialist crusader Atlantic coalition bombed civilian sites, among them a bakery and a restaurant in Brega, creating 15 martyrs and more than 20 wounded, among them regular clients of those places,” the TV said.

The report, which did not say when the attack took place, referred to a Nato “war of extermination” and “crimes against humanity” in Libya.

However, state news agency Jana said the attack was on Saturday and spoke of five more “citizens” killed a day earlier.

Following the Libyan television claim, Nato  spokesman said the alliance “did target buildings in an abandoned area of Brega. These were legitimate military targets that were hit. “We took a long time to watch the area and make sure. Meticulous planning went into this.” As far as Nato is concerned, he said, “any people in that area at that time were legitimate military targets.”

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