Meet 15 year-old Salwa Jawoo. She is said to be one of the victims of a NATO airstrike near Zlitan, Libya that the Qaddafi regime claims killed 85 civilians in an area with no military presence. Matthew Price of the BBC found her lying in a Ziltan hospital bed, bruised and with a bandaged hand. She says that her mother and two sisters were among the 85 children, women and men murdered by NATO, and from the look of her, she is lucky to have escaped with her own life. Earlier Matthew Price and other international journalists were taken on a tour of the bombing scene with Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi. He was shown Salwa's name in some school books at the scene. Of the visit with Salwa in the hospital, Price wrote:
Her face was scarred - she had a broken shoulder.
She said she was sitting outside her home when the first missile struck. It was the second one that injured her.
"There was no military camp. We were just living there. Why did they attack us?" she asked.
"My mother died, and my two sisters," she added, with a sigh. A tear ran down her cheek as she spoke. Her grief was genuine.
And here is Salwa Jawoo again, at least it certainly looks like her. This still is a screen shot from this video produced by Libyan State TV about the murder of 85 civilians near Ziltan. She speaks in this YouTube video between 3:45 - 4:24, the screenshot is @ 04:07:24, and she appears to have made quite a recovery. The bandage is gone and so are the bruises as far as I can tell. If you watch the video clip of her I put up you'll see her broken shoulder is much better. But her anger is as genuine as her grief was earlier.
A twittermate, N_Benghazi has translated what she said for me:
"I want to say that I'm a civillian from Zliten, And my little brother, all praise is due to God, died a martyr and he's but a child. And I, with God's help, with God's help I'll pick up weapons and go to the frontline, with Khamis, fight as a soldier alongside Khamis [Gaddafi].
And I want to tell Muammar, I want to thank him for the Honor and Dignity he's allowed us to live in. We want you, we want you Muammar and we're silent, we're silent here in Libya. Either we live, or we die. Omar Mukhtar said it himself -- We will not surrender, we live or we die. "
So what's the real story here? Did her anger take away the memory of the loss of her two sisters, and mom as well as the bandage and bruises? And why didn't she mention "little brother" before?
Also please note that Qaddafi PM Baghdadi Mahmudi that took the international journalist on the tour is the same person that has been report to have been recorded talking [youtube] with an unknown person "in which they plot to take three dead children from a hospital, plant them at a known site, and have the government spokesman, Musa Ibrahim, report from there using the children as casualties to further their propaganda," as I reported in my last diary.
NATO, for it's part, still says the Qaddafi claims are highly unlikely but without people on the ground, how can they really know? NATO spokesman Bouchard said at a recent press conference:
“I can assure you that the target was a legitimate one that contained mercenaries, a command centre and 4×4 vehicles modified with automatic weapons, rocket launchers or mortars,” Bouchard said.
“I cannot believe that 85 civilians were present when we struck in the wee hours of the morning and given our intelligence” on the target, he added.
“I can assure you that there wasn’t 85 civilians present, but I cannot assure you that there were none at all.”
“Frankly, I cannot say if there were any civilian deaths or how many,” said the general, who accused Gaddafi’s forces of often leaving already dead corpses at military sites after they have been levelled by NATO airstrikes to make the bombings appear like blunders.
I found another Qaddafi video on YouTibe that also featured Salwa Jawoo and was clearly shot at the same time if not the exact same footage but it has the advantage of a wider view:
Libya: NATO blamed for Libyan massacre [10.08.0211.]
This is screenshot @ 02:45:16
And here is another @ 03:06:12.
Who is that unseen person off-screen to the left side that appears to be coaching the kids on because they look scared to death of him? That's not a very nice way to treat a bunch of kids that are suppose to have just survived a massacre.
For more background on the Libyan Revolution and links to lots of information see my other writings at the DailyKos and WikiLeaks Central:
Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?
CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique
The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis
NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter
How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?
Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!
Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?
Tripoli Green Square Reality Check
Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
North African Revolution Continues
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation