TRIPOLI, Libya – NATO said Saturday it mistakenly struck a column of Libyan rebel vehicles in an airstrike near an eastern oil town two days earlier and expressed regret for any casualties that might have resulted.
The alliance has accidentally hit rebel forces before in its air campaign to protect civilians in the civil war between Moammar Gadhafi’s military and the fighters trying to end his more than four decades in power.
The alliance statement gave no figures on casualties from Thursday’s airstrike, but said it regretted “any possible loss of life or injuries caused by this unfortunate incident.”
NATO meanwhile continued to strike targets in the capital Tripoli into the early hours today.
In the accidental strike on rebel forces, NATO said its forces spotted a column of military vehicles near the frequent flashpoint town of Brega where forces loyal to Gadhafi had recently been operating and hit them because they believed they posed a threat to civilians.
“NATO can now confirm that the vehicles hit were part of an opposition patrol,” the statement said.
‘Uakari’ a winner for Georgian, 58
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A 58-year-old Georgia man has won AARP’s national spelling bee with the correct spelling of “uakari.”
Tony Johnson won in the 39th round after three hours of competition Saturday under new rules meant to speed up the Cheyenne, Wyo., spelling bee. The practicing psychologist from LaGrange said he systematically went through the dictionary from A to Z in the past year to prepare.
The AARP said Johnson bested 40 other competitors ranging in age from 50 to 81, including last year’s champion, Scott Firebaugh.
Uakari is the name of a type of monkey found in the northwestern Amazon Basin.
Cop in clown gear kills alleged bandit
CHICAGO – An off-duty Chicago police officer dressed as a clown for a fundraiser shot and killed a teenager who authorities say was trying to rob him.
Police said the officer was headed home from a children’s event Friday night when the suspect approached him, asking for money.
When the officer said he didn’t have any, police said the teen pulled a gun.
After a struggle, the officer grabbed the gun and fired, killing the teen.
The officer sustained minor injuries. A weapon was recovered.
Authorities haven’t released the names of those involved.