Sacrificing Our TODAY for the World's TOMORROW
FATA is "Federally Administered Tribal Area" of Pakistan; consisting of 7 Agencies and 6 F.Rs; with a 27000 Sq Km area and 4.5 m population.
MYTH: FATA is the HUB of militancy, terrorism and unrest in Afghanistan.
REALITY: FATA is the worst "VICTIM of Militancy”. Thousands of Civilians dead & injured; Hundreds of Schools destroyed; Thousands of homes raised to ground; 40% population displaced from homes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pro-Gadhafi Mobs Target Embassies in Libya (NY Times, 1 May 2011)

Courtesy: "New York Times", 1 May 2011

Embassies in Libya Attacked by Mobs After NATO Airstrike


Angry mobs targeted foreign missions in Tripoli on Sunday, burning and vandalizing the British and Italian embassies and ransacking United Nations offices in what appeared to be revenge attacks following a NATO air strike on Saturday that apparently killed a son and three grandchildren of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
Italy and Britain condemned the attacks, which officials said had caused serious damage to their diplomatic missions but had not caused any injuries. The United Nations said Sunday that it was evacuating its international staff from Tripoli because of unrest. It also did not report any injuries.

The UN said Sunday that at around 3 a.m., a mob broke into and tore through a building housing various United Nations offices in Tripoli, saying they were opposed to the NATO bombing, according to a spokeswoman for the United Nations Development Program in New York.
The UN said that no one was in the office at the time. It said the remaining international staff of six people had left Libya Sunday morning via the border with Tunisia. Local staff would remain but were working from their homes.
Britain said Sunday that its embassy and ambassador’s residence had also been attacked and that it had expelled the Libyan ambassador from London in return. A spokeswoman at the Foreign Ministry told Reuters that the damage had been “severe” and appeared to have been caused by fire.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said Libya had an obligation under international law to protect diplomatic missions on its territory. “I condemn the attacks on the British Embassy premises in Tripoli as well as the diplomatic missions of other countries,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “The attacks against diplomatic missions will not weaken our resolve to protect the civilian population in Libya.”
Britain gave the official, Omar Jelban, 24 hours to leave the country. In February, Britain announced in February that it had closed its embassy in Tripoli and evacuated local staff, and in March, it expelled five Libyan diplomats from the Libyan embassy in London, saying they could pose a threat to national security.
Italy, whose embassy also came under attack Sunday, called it a “grave and vile” act and said Colonel Qaddafi’s government had failed to carry out its most rudimentary international obligations. Last week, Italy began striking select military targets in Libya for the first time and has been providing logistical support from its many NATO and U.S. bases. But it had refrained from taking direct military actions against Libya, a former colony with which it has close economic ties.
The spokesman for the Italian Foreign Ministry, Maurizio Massari, said Sunday that the embassy had been attacked with fire on Saturday night and early Sunday morning, causing some damage to the building. He said Italy had evacuated the personnel from its embassy weeks ago.
Mr. Massari said that Italy did not expect to follow Britain in expelling the Libyan ambassador because the Libyan embassy to Italy effectively stopped operating as such after the ambassador defected from Colonel Qaddafi’s regime. The ministry said it had formally condemned the attacks through the Turkish embassy in Tripoli.
In Libya, the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi said he survived an air strike in Tripoli late Saturday night that killed one of his sons and three grandchildren, in the sharpest intensification yet of the NATO campaign intended to pressure the Libyan leader from power. While the deaths of Mr. Qaddafi’s son, Seif al-Arab Muammar el-Qaddafi, 29, and the grandchildren, all said to be younger than 12, could not be independently verified, the campaign against Libya’s most densely populated areas raised new questions about how broadly NATO is interpreting its United Nations mandate to protect civilians.
It was the second airstrike in seven days to hit a location intimately close to the Libyan leader, following a midnight attack last week that destroyed an office building in his compound where he and his aides sometimes work.
In a news conference early Sunday morning in Tripoli, a Qaddafi government spokesman called the strike an illegal attack. “This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country,” said the spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim. “This is not permitted by international law. It is not permitted by any moral code or principle.” He said that the colonel and his wife, who were staying at the house along with “friends and family,” were not hurt.
American and NATO officials have said they are not seeking to kill Colonel Qaddafi, and some have suggested it might not be very easy. But frustrated by the evasion and resilience of Colonel Qaddafi’s military, NATO has pledged to step up its strikes on the broader instruments of his power, including state television facilities and command centers in the capital.
In a news release, the NATO mission’s operational commander, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, said he was aware of the reports of Qaddafi family deaths but called them unconfirmed. He added: “All NATO’s targets are military in nature and have been clearly linked to the Qaddafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan population and populated areas. We do not target individuals.”
A NATO official in Naples, Italy, reached by e-mail and responding on condition of anonymity, said that allied planners had not known Qaddafi family members were in the building that was attacked, which the official described as a command and control center. The official would not specify the nationality of the aircraft or pilots that carried out the strike.
In a video broadcast by the satellite channel Al Jazeera, Libyan officials showed reporters what they said was the destroyed house, a large crater, crumbled concrete and twisted metal, and someone dusting off what appeared to be an unexploded bomb.
It is not the first time Colonel Qaddafi has survived such a close call. In 1986, the United States struck his compound in retaliation for a terrorist attack on a German nightclub frequented by American service members. Colonel Qaddafi has incorporated his survival into his cult of personality, preserving the wreckage of the building as a “Museum of Resistance” and erecting a statue of a giant fist grabbing an American warplane.
Although several of Colonel Qaddafi’s seven sons and one daughter play major roles in the Libyan economy and government (including an older brother with a similar name, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi), the son reported killed had been considered a black sheep, believed to spend much of his time in Munich. Many Libyans said they had never seen his picture. In 2007, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that he had been briefly detained by the Munich police after getting into a fight with a nightclub bouncer; no charges were filed.
In Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital in eastern Libya, and in Misurata, a western city that Colonel Qaddafi’s forces have besieged for months, celebratory gunfire rang out and explosions could be heard.
But even then, doubts lingered in Benghazi about whether the news was true: In interviews, residents said they were happy but suspected a ploy by Colonel Qaddafi to win sympathy. Ramadan el-Sheikhy, who said his brother was killed in one of Colonel Qaddafi’s prisons, said any sympathy was misplaced. “I was truly happy at the news,” he said. “Hopefully, he felt the pain of having a relative killed.”
Earlier Saturday, NATO officials had rejected an offer by Colonel Qaddafi to call a cease-fire and negotiate as false. The proposal was delivered in a rambling and often defiant speech, broadcast over Libyan state television, in which Colonel Qaddafi insisted he would never leave Libya.
“Come France, Italy, U.K., America, come, we’ll negotiate with you,” Colonel Qaddafi said. “You lie and say I’m killing my own people. Show us the bodies.”
The speech, which was broadcast at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, was the latest in a series of proclamations from the Libyan leader, and it was made as NATO forces said they would broaden their list of targets to include palaces, communication centers and other administrative buildings that Colonel Qaddafi relies on to maintain power.
Colonel Qaddafi repeated his assertions that the rebels belonged to Al Qaeda or were terrorists and mercenaries, even as he appealed to them to lay down their weapons.

Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Benghazi, David D. Kirkpatrick from Cairo, C. J. Chivers from Misurata, Libya, Eric Schmitt from Washington and Rachel Donadio from Rome.

Note: The viewpoint expressed in this article is solely that of the writer / news outlet. "FATA Awareness Initiative" Team may not agree with the opinion presented.

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