Libya civilian casualties: Ban alarmed
New York – The UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed alarm over the rising number of civilian casualties in the Libya conflict, including those inflicted in Nato airstrikes.
Without mentioning any side, Ban called on "all parties" to use "extreme caution" in the battle, said a UN statement.
"The secretary general is deeply concerned by reports of the unacceptably large number of civilian casualties as a result of the conflict in Libya," it said.
"The secretary general calls on all parties to exercise extreme caution in their actions, in order to minimise any further loss of civilian life," the statement added.
Ban has been a staunch defender of the Nato action against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, which began in March.
But the air attacks have drawn harsh criticism from members of the UN Security Council, led by Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa, who say the action goes beyond UN resolutions on Libya.
Unesco's director general Irina Bokova this week branded as "unacceptable" a Nato attack on the Libyan state broadcasting headquarters in which three people died.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has insisted that its attacks are within UN resolutions passed this year, which allow action to protect civilians in Libya.