Residents in western Libya say NATO hit hospital

PAUL SCHEMM - Associated Press
LIbyan women shop in the Old City of Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, July 24, 2011. Germany said Sunday that it is loaning Libya's rebel leadership euro 100 million ($144 million) to help with the country's rebuilding and humanitarian needs. The Foreign Ministry said it is granting urgently needed funding as a loan because frozen assets related to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi cannot yet be released. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

ZLITAN, Libya (AP) — A hospital worker in western Libya said that NATO forces struck a local hospital on Monday and killed seven people, including three doctors.

Libyan government minders brought journalists Monday to the destroyed hospital in the town of Zlitan, about a two hours drive east of the capital Tripoli. The reporters were also taken to several food warehouses that the government said were damaged in the airstrikes and were still burning.

Ambulance driver Osama Mahmoud said three doctors were among the dead at the Zlitan hospital.

"In this whole area there is no military," Mahmoud told The Associated Press.

At the scene of the destroyed hospital, X-rays, medical supplies and hospital gurneys peeked through the tangled rubble and twisted metal. Four bulldozers worked to clean up the damage.

Residents said NATO planes bombed the buildings early Monday morning. A NATO spokesman in Naples, Italy, said the alliance would not release information on the strikes before Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, British jets bombed an intelligence building in Tripoli used by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces, according to a statement released by the British Ministry of Defence.

"In the early hours of Sunday morning, Royal Air Force Tornado and Typhoon aircraft conducted a precision strike on the Central Organization for Electronic Research," said Major General Nick Pope in the statement.

"Ostensibly an engineering academy, the COER has in reality long been a cover for the regime's nefarious activities."

According to Pope, RAF jets on Sunday also successfully targeted two staging posts near Zlitan that were used to gather tanks and artillery.

"Later that afternoon, an armed reconnaissance patrol located and destroyed a regime main battle tank near Gharyan, on the edge of the Djebel Nafousa, south of Tripoli," read the statement.

Under a U.N. mandate, NATO warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes on the Libyan government military targets.