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Libya slams UN chief over civilian deaths comments

Last Updated: Saturday, August 13, 2011 - 20:22

Tripoli: Libya on Saturday accused UN chief Ban
Ki-moon of playing with words after he acknowledged NATO
efforts to avoid civilian casualties a day after urging
restraint over "unacceptably" high deaths.

"The secretary general has consistently called for
restraint and caution to avoid civilian casualties. He of
course recognises and appreciates NATO`s efforts to avoid
civilian casualties," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters

In a statement released by his office on Thursday, Ban had
sounded the alarm over civilian deaths and called for new
efforts to find a political solution between Libya`s long-time
strongman Muammar Gaddafi and opposition rebels.

Without specifically naming any side, Ban called on "all
parties" to use "extreme caution" in the battle.

"The secretary general is deeply concerned by reports of
the unacceptably large number of civilian casualties as a
result of the conflict in Libya," said a statement.

Ban "calls on all parties to exercise extreme caution in
their actions, in order to minimise any further loss of
civilian life."

But Libya`s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim told
reporters early today Ban`s statement was "unacceptable" for
not singling out NATO for "being responsible for civilian
deaths in Libya."

"The only party that must be blamed for the loss of
civilian lives is NATO," he said.


First Published: Saturday, August 13, 2011 - 20:22

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