NATO launches air raids in Sirte on Thursday: spokesman

NATO aircraft struck two military vehicle on Thursday as they fled Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, a NATO spokesman said.

"At approximately 0830 local time (GMT0630) today, NATO aircraft struck two pro-Qadhafi forces military vehicles which were part of a larger group maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte," said Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO's Libyan mission.

"These armed vehicles were conducting military operations and presented a clear threat to civilians," he said.

The spokesman didn't say whether Gaddafi was in the convoy or not.

A commander of the Libya NTC (National Transitional Council) said Gaddafi has been killed when an air strike hit a convoy trying to flee Sirte.

However, NATO didn't confirm the media report that Gaddafi was captured or killed.

A NATO official told Xinhua that it is up to the NTC to confirm the alleged capture of Gaddafi, not the military alliance.

The military alliance has repeatedly said the former Libyan leader is not a target of its campaign in Libya, which aims to protect civilians.

[Source: Xinhua, Brussels, 20Oct11]

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