UNICEF: Gadhafi’s Snipers Targeting Children in Libyan City

April 8, 2011 - 8:32 AM

Geneva (AP) - Snipers are targeting children in the besieged rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata, the U.N.'s children agency said Friday.

Hundreds of residents have been killed and wounded in the assault by Gadhafi's forces on Libya's third-largest city, and residents are running short of water, food and medicine.

"What we have are reliable and consistent reports of children being among the people targeted by snipers in Misrata," UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told reporters in Geneva.

The information was based on local sources, Mercado said. She was unable to say how many children have been wounded or killed in this way.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it is sending a team to Misrata by boat Friday and would investigate the reports of snipers targeting children.

A spokesman for the Geneva-based aid group, Christian Cardon, told The Associated Press that children and other civilians not involved in hostilities are never a legitimate target in an armed conflict. "But without having any more information, we can't comment on what is happening there," he said.