The International News Safety Institute (INSI) issued a statement Aug. 5 expressing concern over a July 30 NATO air-strike on the Tripoli headquarters of state broadcaster al-Jamahiriya that killed three staff and wounded 21, according to media reports. The statement calls on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to determine whether the air-strike was a breech of a 2006 Security Council resolution that bans attacks on journalists. NATO said the bombing was in line with its UN mandate. Countered INSI director Rodney Pinder: “NATO forces in Libya are acting under a Security Counsel mandate to protect civilians and journalists are civilians.” He added that such attacks could not be excused “on the basis that you disagree with the point of view of the news organizations.” AP notes that the International Federation of Journalists also condemned the bombing and called for a probe.
The Tripoli regime on Aug. 5 denied reports by the rebel leadership in Benghazi that Moammar Qaddafi’s youngest son Khamis was killed in a NATO air-strike on a government operations center in the frontline town of Zlitan. Tripoli’s deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim said Khamis is alive and spoke to Libyan government officials Friday to confirm his well-being. “He is OK and alive, and they [reports of death] are just lies,” Kaim told the AP. He said the rebels spread reports of Khamis’ death to “distract attention” from the killing last month of rebel military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis.