Gadhafi Survives NATO Missile Strike That Killed Son
By RICHARD BOUDREAUX and CHARLES LEVINSON
TRIPOLI, Libya – A missile fired by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization struck a house where Col. Moammar Gadhafi was staying Saturday, missing the Libyan leader but killing his youngest son and three young grandchildren, a government spokesman said.
Col. Gadhafi and his wife were in the home of their 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, when the missile crashed through the one-story house in a Tripoli residential neighborhood, according to the spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim.
The young Mr. Gadhafi, who was reported killed, was the seventh son of the Libyan leader.
“The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed,” Mr. Ibrahim told a news conference early Sunday. “His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, [but] other people were injured.”
“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” the spokesman added. “It seems intelligence was leaked. They knew about him being there, or they expected him. But the target was very clear.”
The attack could mark a volatile turning point in Col. Gadhafi’s 10-week-old battle against an armed popular uprising based in eastern Libya and the NATO bombing campaign that began in March. His regime is expected to use his son’s death to rally Libyans against foreign intervention in the conflict. His Libyan foes, based mainly in eastern Libya, hope the threat of similar NATO strikes will erode support for the leader within his inner circle.
NATO officials made no immediate comment on the fatal airstrike. …
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