Rights group wants bombing investigation

March 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM
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LONDON, March 19 (UPI) -- A human rights group said Monday it is disappointed NATO has not investigated its airstrike that killed 34 Libyan civilians more than four months ago.

Relatives of those killed in an Aug. 8 sortie on Majer, Libya, have no information as to who was responsible and what actually happened, Amnesty International said in the briefing paper, "Libya: The forgotten victims of NATO Strikes."

The report alleges scores of Libyan non-combatants were injured or killed in their houses by NATO sorties. The human rights group also said NATO has neglected to investigate the event or contact survivors or relatives of the slain.

"It is deeply disappointing that more than four months since the end of the military campaign, victims and relatives of those killed by NATO airstrikes remain in the dark about what happened and who was responsible," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's senior crisis response adviser.

Amnesty International said NATO issued an apology last Tuesday for inflicting harm but it was insufficient.

NATO said in that statement it "deeply regrets any harm that may have been caused by those air strikes," but "has had no mandate to conduct any activities in Libya" following the Oct. 31 end of its operations in the country.

The human rights group also alleged NATO added the "primary responsibility" for investigating resides with Libyan authorities.

"NATO's response is tantamount to refusing to take responsibility for its actions. It leaves victims and their families feeling that they have been forgotten and that they have no recourse to justice," Rovera said.

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