- (Photo: Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah)
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has attempted Sunday to show evidence of his claims that scores of children and civilians have been killed and wounded by NATO-led airstrikes.
However, after letting foreign media into a hospital to see a young child allegedly injured by NATO airstrikes, a hospital worker passed a note to journalists explaining that the child had in fact been the victim of a car accident.
Libyan government officials reportedly took the foreign press members to a farm on the borders of Tripoli, the Libyan capital. A farmer then explained how his dog and numerous chickens had been killed by a missile strike by NATO. The man explained that people had been hurt, although those claims were later contradicted by others in the area that claimed children had been injured.
Next, the press members were taken to a central Tripoli hospital to see an unconscious young girl. A man, described to journalists as her uncle then proceeded to explain how she was the victim of a NATO airstrike on Sunday.
However, those claims were thrown into doubt soon after as a staff member at the hospital passed an English hand-written note to journalists that said: “This is a case of road traffic accident. This is the truth”.
Another man was then presented to the media members, described as a neighbor of the unconscious girl. He proceeded to lean over her screaming a common pro-Gaddafi chant: “God, Muammar, Libya and that’s all!”
However, numerous media reports later said the same man appeared at a separate media event that evening, where he openly acknowledged that he was employed by Gaddafi’s officials for the media event.
The Libyan government has claimed that more than 700 civilians have been killed, and more than 4,000 wounded since NATO airstrikes began. However, foreign media representatives have yet to be shown any evidence of such casualties.