MoD calls off Tripoli missile strike to protect Reuters and CNN journalists, reports

The British military apparently avoided a PR disaster and a journalistic tragedy when it called of further missile strikes on Colonel Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli.

According to The Sun (which appears to have most on this story) a Tomahawk cruise missile launched by a Royal Navy nuclear sub hit the compound on Sunday night and then Western journalists – including reporters from CNN and Reuters – were bussed in by Gaddafi PR men to view the damage.  Apparently intelligence reached RAF Tornado jets that journalists were in the area, and follow-up missile strikes were aborted.

The story, apparently first emerged on Fox which made accusations that journalists were being used by the Gaddafi regime as human shields (see report below).

Meanwhile CNN foreign correspondent Nic Robertson has reacted angrily to the report.

He said: “You know, when you come to somewhere like Libya, you expect lies and deceit from the dictatorship here. You don’t expect it from the other journalists.

“We were taken there, we went in through the security, we filmed the building. We were given 15, 20 minutes to do that, five minutes in Gaddafi’s tent, and then we were taken out.

“And I was literally physically pushed back on the bus when we left. That’s how quickly the government officials wanted to get us out.”

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