Mon, March 21, 2011
World > Africa > War clouds hover over Libya

Western air strikes kill 64 in Libya -- health official

2011-03-20 13:21:50 GMT2011-03-20 21:21:50(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

People stand near bodies that are under a blanket, of Muammar Gaddafi supporterskilled in what residents said was a French airstrike early on Sunday morning on the southern outskirts of Benghazi in northeastern Libya, March 20, 2011. (Reuters)

TRIPOLI, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Sixty-four people have been killed and 150 others wounded in the air strikes launched by western forces since Saturday, Libya's health officials said on Sunday.

Western warplanes have bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing the casualties, the state television reported.

Several fuel tanks were also hit, it said.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi Sunday called the Western attacks as "a crusader war" against the Libyan people, saying that the air strikes were designed to "terrify the Libyan people" and were "terrorist means."

Gaddafi vowed to snatch a victory over Western forces, which began on Saturday to launch air strikes against his troops, saying the western forces would be defeated.

All the Libyan people were united and have been given weapons, "ready for a long war" in the country, he said in a brief audio message carried out by Libya's state television.

The world's major powers, Britain, the United States and France, Saturday started to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi's forces after the UN Security Council had passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and protect civilians in Libya.

France carried out initial four air strikes, while the U.S. military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 Libyan coastal targets.

The western forces also reportedly launched fresh waves of air attacks on Sunday.

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