NATO claims it targetted a command and control center in Tripoli.
The Libyan government took journalists to the site. It was reportedly a compound with several buildings. Underneath one, there may or may not have been a bunker.
One of the most comprehensive reports so far is written by Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel for the Washington Post, and published here.
Al-Jazeera English has posted here a report and elsewhere the full English-language announcement by government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said the Libyan leader and his wife had also been in the building, with friends and relatives — but that Qaddhafi and his wife are unhurt, though there have been other martyrs there, who have now joined other martyrs among the Libyan people for the last 40 days. The spokesman noted that Qaddhafi had just appealed for a halt in NATO action, a ceasefire, and called for dialog — but, the spokesman said, no government has sent any envoy or delegation, and there has been no dialog…
This is being called by some an attempt at a targetted assassination.
But, NATO officials later said they did not intentionally target “any individual”.
Twitter reported some scepticism about the reports of these Qaddhafi family deaths — mainly among Qaddhafi opponents and rebel supporters.
But, the co-author of the WPost article answered some questions on Twitter [@simondenyer], and said, among other things, after seeing the destruction at the site of the strike, that “It did seem unlikely to many members of press corps that anyone could escape completely unscathed, without any injuries at all”.
To one sceptic, who was apparently insisting that a military target had been hit, not a civilian target, @simondenyer wrote: “Praps they removed military gear and replaced it with the contents of someone’s home, then destroyed it and caked it in dust”…
Former U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has Tweeted [@PJCrowley] that NATO should explain as soon as possible: “If verified that #Qaddafi’s grandsons died following an air attack, it could damage #NATO’s credibility”, and “the sooner #NATO fully explains what happened, the better”.
In 1986, a very young girl that Qaddhafi said was his adopted daughter was killed in a joint British-American strike on his compound in Tripoli.
A New York Times OP ED, signed by BARACK OBAMA, DAVID CAMERON, and NICOLAS SARKOZY and published on 14 April here stated “We must never forget the reasons why the international community was obliged to act in the first place. As Libya descended into chaos with Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi attacking his own people, the Arab League called for action. The Libyan opposition called for help. And the people of Libya looked to the world in their hour of need. In an historic resolution, the United Nations Security Council authorized all necessary measures to protect the people of Libya from the attacks upon them. By responding immediately, our countries, together with an international coalition, halted the advance of Qaddafi’s forces and prevented the bloodbath that he had promised to inflict upon the citizens of the besieged city of Benghazi. Tens of thousands of lives have been protected. But the people of Libya are still suffering terrible horrors at Qaddafi’s hands each and every day. His rockets and shells rained down on defenseless civilians in Ajdabiya. The city of Misurata is enduring a medieval siege, as Qaddafi tries to strangle its population into submission. The evidence of disappearances and abuses grows daily. Our duty and our mandate under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Qaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power. The International Criminal Court is rightly investigating the crimes committed against civilians and the grievous violations of international law. It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. The brave citizens of those towns that have held out against forces that have been mercilessly targeting them would face a fearful vengeance if the world accepted such an arrangement. It would be an unconscionable betrayal … There is a pathway to peace that promises new hope for the people of Libya … The regime has to pull back from the cities it is besieging, including Ajdabiya, Misurata and Zintan, and return to their barracks. However, so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good”.