Tripoli: Libya said three journalists
were killed in a NATO air strike on state television on Saturday and
that the murder of the rebels` army chief proved al Qaeda was
instigating the country`s armed revolt.
"Three of our colleagues were murdered and 15 injured
while performing their professional duty as Libyan
journalists," said Khaled Basilia, director of Al-Jamahiriya
television`s English-language service.
He branded the air strike "an act of international
terrorism and in violation of UN Security Council
Earlier, NATO in Brussels announced it had carried out
precision strikes on three Libyan television transmitters to
silence "terror broadcasts" by Muammar Gaddafi`s regime.
"NATO conducted a precision air strike that disabled
three ground-based Libyan state TV satellite transmission
dishes in Tripoli... with the intent of degrading Gaddafi`s
use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the
Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them," the
"In light of our (UN) mandate to protect civilian
lives, we had to act. After due consideration and careful
planning to minimise the risks of casualties or long-term
damage to television transmission capabilities, NATO performed
the strike," he said.
But Basilia said the channel posed no threat to
civilians. "We are not a military target, we are not
commanders in the army and we do not pose threat to
civilians," he insisted.
"We are performing our job as journalists representing
what we wholeheartedly believe is the reality of NATO`s
aggression and the violence in Libya," Basilia said.
Libyan rebels, meanwhile, probed the killing of their
army chief, General Abdel Fatah Yunis.