NATO hits Gathafi compound after TV appearance
TRIPOLI - NATO air strikes hit Moamer Gathafi's compound Thursday, killing three people, a government spokesman said, hours after the Libyan leader appeared on TV for the first time since a strike killed his son.
"Three people died -- two of them are journalists and one was their guide who was helping them film a documentary," Mussa Ibrahim told a news conference in the Bab al-Aziziya compound that was held next to a large, water-filled crater.
He identified the dead journalists as Ali al-Graw and Ismail al-Sharif and said they were filming "hundreds of people who were celebrating their resilience against NATO."
He said Graw was a Libyan journalist and filmmaker, but did not provide further details on Sharif, or specify which news organisation the two worked for.
He identified their guide as Abdel Salam Massoud Mohammed, 25, and said that "in addition to these three martyrs, we have 27 injured people" from various strikes.
Earlier, two regime minders accompanying journalists on a trip to the compound had said that six people were killed and 10 wounded. Ibrahim said three killed and 27 wounded was the official toll, without explaining the discrepancy.
The minders first took journalists to a water-filled crater in a street and then to a destroyed building which they said had housed government offices.
The group was then taken to the much-larger crater next to which Ibrahim gave the press conference.
He said the strike, which appeared to have been by a "bunker-buster" bomb, which penetrates underground and then explodes, had hit a "sewage location."
Journalists were blocked from inspecting a nearby staircase leading underground, which was surrounded by regime supporters.
The strike came hours after Libyan state television broadcast footage of Gathafi in a meeting.
It was Gathafi's first on-camera appearance since the regime said his youngest son, Seif al-Arab, and three of his grandchildren, were killed by a NATO strike it slammed as "a direct operation to assassinate" the veteran leader.