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Libya says airstrike by NATO kills 15 civilians

Protesters against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi bow during prayer Friday in Benghazi. An underground rebel group says it trying to send weapons to comrades in Tripoli, the capital.

Associated Press

Protesters against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi bow during prayer Friday in Benghazi. An underground rebel group says it trying to send weapons to comrades in Tripoli, the capital.

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyan authorities on Saturday accused NATO of killing 15 people in an airstrike that hit a restaurant and bakery in the eastern oil town of Brega, though the alliance said there were no indications that civilians had died.

NATO is investigating whether one of its airstrikes may have slammed into a neighborhood in Tripoli on June 19, killing several civilians. A day later, alliance warplanes struck a family compound belonging to a close aide of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, killing what the Libyan government says was 19 people, including at least three children. NATO said the site was a "command and control" center, and said it regrets any civilian deaths that resulted.

The Associated Press said it was told by a NATO official on Saturday that alliance warplanes had hit several targets in the vicinity of Brega. The official, however, dismissed claims that the attacks had resulted in civilian casualties, AP reported.

Also Saturday, rebel representatives said they have been working to cut fuel supplies from the Tunisian border in an attempt to paralyze Gadhafi's forces. Rebels also are making bombs and trying to ferry weapons to their comrades in Tripoli, a spokesman for an underground group said.

Syrian government makes mass arrests

Syrian security forces arrested scores of people across the country Saturday as mourners took part in the funerals of six protesters killed Friday outside Damascus. Syria has been gripped since mid March by a popular uprising against the government of President Bashar Assad. The government has cracked down hard on the protesters, killing more than 1,400 people and detaining more than 10,000, according to activists. Violence in the rural northwest has driven more than 11,000 refugees into neighboring Turkey, where the Red Crescent, a local contemporary of the Red Cross, said last week that 17,000 more were waiting to cross the rugged border. Hundreds have crossed into Lebanon, AP reported, citing a Lebanese security official.

Egyptians want U.S. to stay out, polls find

Egyptians largely reject U.S. involvement in their country and appear split on whether to extend the peace treaty with Israel. They overwhelmingly support the revolution and are eager to vote, but haven't identified a party or politician to steer the nation toward their vision of an Islam-compatible democracy. That's the portrait emerging of Egypt's electorate as the country prepares for the first vote since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, according to survey results released in recent weeks by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, the Pew Research Center, the International Republican Institute, as well as nonprofit groups and local newspapers.

Information from the Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers and the New York Times was used in this report.

Libya says airstrike by NATO kills 15 civilians 06/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2011 10:26pm]

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