Libya: NATO checking report strikes killed civilians

NATO said the incident happened before it took command early Thursday.

Brussels: The new NATO commander of the international military operation in Libya says he`s looking into reports that air strikes on Tripoli have killed at least 40 civilians.

Lt Gen Charles Bouchard, a Canadian now heading the international operation, noted the alleged incident happened before NATO took command early Thursday.

Bouchard says he is "aware of this news report. I take every one of those issues seriously, but our mission began ... today."

The report by the Fides news agency quotes Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, as saying he`d learned that a building in the Buslim district collapsed because of bombing, killing 40 people.

Bouchard says the alliance has strict rules of engagement and was careful in going after any targets.

Bureau Report

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