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Mourners demand revenge in Libya after NATO strike

A supporter reacts during a funeral for members of the Gadhafi family in Tripoli, Libya, on Monday. A NATO missile strike in Tripoli killed Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Arab and three young grandchildren. The photo was taken on a government organized tour.

Associated Press

A supporter reacts during a funeral for members of the Gadhafi family in Tripoli, Libya, on Monday. A NATO missile strike in Tripoli killed Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Arab and three young grandchildren. The photo was taken on a government organized tour.

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libyans shouting for revenge buried Moammar Gadhafi's second-youngest son Monday, and South Africa warned that the NATO bombing that killed him would only bring more violence.

Libya's leader did not attend the tumultuous funeral of 29-year-old Seif al-Arab, but older brothers Seif al-Islam and Mohammed paid their respects, thronged by a crowd of several thousand. Jostling to get closer to the coffin, draped with a green Libyan flag, mourners flashed victory signs and chanted "Revenge, revenge for you, Libya."

Three of Gadhafi's grandchildren — an infant and two toddlers — also died in Saturday's attack, which NATO says targeted one of the regime's command and control centers. Gadhafi and his wife were in the compound at the time, but escaped unharmed, Libyan officials said, accusing the alliance of trying to assassinate the Libyan leader.

NATO officials have denied they are hunting Gadhafi to break the battlefield stalemate between Gadhafi's troops and rebels trying for the past 10 weeks to depose him. Rebels largely control eastern Libya, while Gadhafi has clung to much of the west, including the capital, Tripoli.

Fierce battles have raged in Misrata, a besieged rebel-held city in western Libya, which has been shelled by Libyan forces every day in recent weeks. Records at one hospital showed that at least eight people were killed and 54 injured in shelling on Monday.

Under a U.N. mandate, NATO's role is to protect Libyan civilians, but the international community has increasingly disagreed about what that entails.

Western political leaders have called for Gadhafi's ouster, prompting warnings from Russia, China and others that regime change must not be the objective of NATO's bombing campaign, now in its second month.

Responding to the attack on Gadhafi's compound, South Africa said Monday that "attacks on leaders and officials can only result in the escalation of tensions and conflicts on all sides and make future reconciliation difficult."

On Sunday, Russia accused NATO of a "disproportionate use of force" and called for an immediate cease-fire.

South Africa has attempted to mediate between Gadhafi and the rebels, proposing a cease-fire and dialogue. Rebel leaders have said they will lay down their arms only when Gadhafi and his family leave, but Gadhafi has refused.

Swiss find assets of Gadhafi, others

The Swiss government said Monday it has identified potential assets to be frozen worth $957 million belonging to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and the ousted presidents of Egypt and Tunisia. Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said those include $415 million that may belong to Gadhafi or his entourage. She said $473 million has been linked to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and $69 million to Tunisia's deposed autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Switzerland has ordered banks and other financial institutions to freeze possible assets belonging to the three men and their key supporters to prevent the funds from being secretly withdrawn. Tunisia and Egypt have started legal proceedings to claim the assets.

Mourners demand revenge in Libya after NATO strike 05/02/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 10:49pm]

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