News / Africa

Libyan Rebel Leader to Visit China

NATO says an accidental strike by its forces may have killed civilians in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The alliance said Sunday the air strikes were launched against a military missile site, but "one weapon did not strike the intended target" because of a possible "weapons system failure." NATO said it regretted the "loss of innocent civilian lives."

Libyan officials said the NATO warplanes struck a residential neighborhood and killed nine people, including two children.

This was the second recent admission of deadly error by coalition forces. On Saturday, NATO acknowledged that aircraft under its command had accidentally hit a rebel column near the oil refinery town of Brega on the frontline between the rebel-held east and the mainly government-held west on Thursday.  The number of casualties in that attack were not revealed.

China says the head of the Libyan rebel group opposing leader Moammar Gadhafi will visit China this week.

The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement Monday that Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the Transitional National Council, will make a two-day visit beginning Tuesday.

China held talks earlier this month with an envoy from Gadhafi, and Chinese diplomats have met with anti-Gadhafi rebels based in Bengazhi.  China has complained that NATO air strikes against government positions in Libya go beyond a U.N. Security Council resolution allowing military action to protect citizens.

Sunday, rebels and medical officials in Libya say fighting near the rebel-held western city of Misrata has killed at least nine people and wounded more than 50 others.

The officials said forces loyal to Libyan leader Gadhafi used heavy artillery to pummel Dafniya, just west of Misrata.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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