BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Libya accused NATO Tuesday of killing 85 civilians during an airstrike, a claim denied by a spokesman for the international military organization.
Col. Roland Lavoie, a NATO spokesman, said the airstrikes Monday night hit two farm buildings Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's forces had taken over for use as a military staging area.
"This was a legitimate target," Lavoie said at a briefing. "We do not have evidence of civilian casualties at this stage."
He said, however, it was likely there were casualties among Gadhafi's military personnel, including mercenaries.
Officials with the Gadhafi government said 85 civilians, including 33 children and 32 women, died in the Monday night attack at Majar, south of Zlitan, the BBC reported.
The ongoing NATO air operations are in support of Libyan rebels seeking to oust Gadhafi from power.
Meanwhile, Libyan rebels dissolved their Cabinet, leaving rebel Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril Tuesday as the only one to keep his job, a rebel spokesman said.
The spokesman told The New York Times the Cabinet was dissolved for "improper administrative procedures" that led to the arrest and subsequent killing of a former top Libyan commander who had defected to the rebels.
The killing of Gen. Abdul Fattah Yunis raised fears of internal strife after members of his tribe said they would turn to violence unless there was a proper investigation.
So far, rebel leaders have delivered mixed messages about the motive for the killing, the Times reported.
Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the rebel council, called the assassination a conspiracy by Gadhafi's government.
Others have said the general was killed by rebels seeking revenge for his role in the suppression of an Islamist insurrection in the city of Darnah in the mid-1990s.