U.S. military denies reports helicopter opened fire on Libyan civilians during rescue mission
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Conflicting reports have emerged of the mission to rescue the two U.S. fighter pilots who ejected from their aircraft. Thethat they were flying reportedly suffered a mechanical failure on Monday night and crashed. Soon after the accident, a U.S. military helicopter landed in the area to extract the airmen and reportedly opened fire on civilians, wounding six of them.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the six civilians were taken to a hospital in the area after being fired upon by the helicopter, a. One of the wounded, a young boy, was shot in the leg, which will likely now require amputation. Another of those reported injured said the shooting caused "great panic." Wikinews understands the is to open an investigation into the rescue mission.
However, a U.S. military spokesperson denied the reports "one hundred percent", and said the incident "didn't happen". He said the aircraft which rescued the two airman was not fitted with weapons. "The Osprey is not armed and the Marines barely came off the aircraft," he said.
- Lindsey Hilsum. "Six Libyan villagers shot by US team rescuing pilot" — , March 22, 2011
- Nick Collins, Peter Hutchison. "Libya: live" — , March 22, 2011
- Adam Gabbatt, Mark Tran, Jonathan Haynes. "Libya: air strikes continue live updates" — , March 22, 2011