NATO says Brega strike directed at command bunker

BRUSSELS Fri May 13, 2011 10:11pm EDT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A NATO air strike on the eastern Libyan city of Brega on Friday that the Libyan government said killed 11 people and wounded 45, was directed against a "command and control bunker," the alliance said.

"We are aware of allegations of civilian casualties in connection to this strike, and although we cannot independently confirm the validity of the claim, we regret any loss of life by innocent civilians when they occur," NATO said in a statement.

It said the building struck had been clearly identified as a command-and-control center.

Earlier on Friday, when asked about the report on Libyan state television, a NATO spokesman said he had no knowledge of a strike on Brega.

Libyan state television showed footage on Friday of at least nine bodies with multiple wounds, wrapped in blankets. It said the attack occurred at dawn and most of the victims were clerics who had gathered for a religious ceremony.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom)

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