From the Guardian.
is facing urgent questions about the legality of its air strike on a Gaddafi family compound at the weekend, which the Libyan government said had killed the leader’s second youngest son, 29-year old Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren under 12. The grandchildren were not named.
The Libyan government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said Muammar Gaddafi and his wife, Safiya, had been in the building at the time, but had escaped injury. He said the aim of the attack was clear: to assassinate the Libyan leader.
Nato swiftly scrambled to deny that it was targeting any individuals, insisting that it was only interested in attacking the military command structure.
The prime minister, David Cameron, told the BBC that UN resolutions permitted attacks against the regime’s “command and control” sites because their aim was to prevent “a loss of civilian life by targeting Gaddafi’s war-making machine”.
But the deaths of Gaddafi’s three grandchildren, if confirmed, will reinforce the doubts of alliance members uncomfortable with Nato’s six-week bombing campaign and generate criticism from countries such as Russia that Nato is pushing beyond its UN security council mandate.
“Statements by participants in the coalition that the strikes on Libya are not aimed at the physical destruction of … Gaddafi and members of his family raise serious doubts,” the Russian foreign ministry said. “The disproportionate use of force … is leading to detrimental consequences and the death of innocent civilians.” The ministry called for “an immediate ceasefire and the beginning of a political settlement process without preconditions.”
The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, said in Caracas: “There is no doubt the order was given to kill Gaddafi. It doesn’t matter who else is killed … this is a murder.”