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China Calls for Libya Ceasefire After Gadhafi's Son Dies


Visitors watch TV screens broadcasting news of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi speaking to his supporters, bottom left, during the China Content Broadcasting Network Expo in Beijing, March 23, 2011 (file photo)

Visitors watch TV screens broadcasting news of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi speaking to his supporters, bottom left, during the China Content Broadcasting Network Expo in Beijing, March 23, 2011 (file photo)

China's Foreign Ministry has renewed its call for a ceasefire in Libya after reports that a NATO airstrike killed the son of leader Moammar Gadhafi, saying it is concerned about civilian casualties in the fighting there.

A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said China disapproves of any NATO action beyond that authorized by the United Nations Security Council. Jiang Yu urged all parties to halt combat and resolve the Libyan crisis peacefully.

China abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote authorizing intervention to protect civilians in Libya, where rebels are fighting to end Moammar Gadhafi's authoritarian rule.

A Libyan government official has said that a NATO airstrike on Saturday killed 29-year-old Saif al-Arab Gadhafi and three of his children, in what the government calls an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The deaths have not been independently confirmed.

The senior Gadhafi and his wife were in their son's home at the time, but were not hurt.

China usually opposes U.N. efforts to impose sanctions or use military action against other countries. And since a wave of popular protests calling for new governments began sweeping the Middle East early this year, Beijing has cracked down on dissent and cut off access to information about the protests. Experts on Chinese politics say the ruling Communist Party does not want the protests to spread to the country.

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