Vatican official reports 40 civilians dead in Tripoli

Italy, Sigonella : A Eurofighter Typhoon Italian jet's pilot who might take part in the UN-mandated operation "Odissey Dawn" (AFP Photo / Giovanni Marino)
The Catholic Bishop in Tripoli has indicated that dozens of civilians have been killed in the Tajoura neighborhood following NATO airstrikes.

"The air strikes are meant to protect civilians, but they are killing dozens of civilians," Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, told Reuters. “In the Tajoura neighborhood, around 40 civilians were killed, and a house with a family inside collapsed.”

He said a number of civilian buildings have been destroyed or damaged.

In the Buslim neighborhood, due to the bombardments, a civilian building came down, it is not clear how many people were inside,” the Bishop added.

Martinelli said he has heard from a number of people in the area, citing “people who work with us, who have many contacts with residents, who are on the ground and know the situation very well.”

NATO said it would investigate the report, but insisted there had been no civilian casualties in Tripoli.