Last updated: 9 March, 2012

UN investigators seek probes into NATO Libya strikes

UN investigators called Friday for further probes into NATO air strikes on Libya, saying they were unable to tell if the alliance took all precautions to protect civilians in some of its attacks.

“The commission is aware that civilians are sometimes killed in lawful military strikes, however it was unable to conclude in these few mentioned strikes whether NATO had taken all feasible precautions to protect the civilians, as it is required to do,” said lead investigator Philip Kirsch.

The commission of inquiry appointed by the UN Human Rights Council had already examined 20 NATO airstrikes from last year’s conflict and found five in which 60 civilians were killed and 55 injured.

NATO claimed to have taken “all feasible precautions” to minimise civilian casualties, Kirsch told the Human Rights Council.

But “the commission was not provided with sufficient information to verify this independently, as it has done with other areas,” he said.

“The commission recommends further investigations.”