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No Evidence Serbians Killed in U.S. Strike in Libya, Defense Official Says

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, February 24, 2016 — The Defense Department has not received any evidence to support the claim that two Serbian hostages were killed in the U.S. strike last week in Libya, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

"We, the United States government and with Department of Defense support, are in contact with the Serbian government," Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters.

Davis said officials have looked at the photos of the Serbian citizens who died and have received further information about the strike itself, including the extensive damage from the Feb. 19 operation.

"So far we have not seen any credible information that would indicate that these people were killed in the strike that we conducted," Davis said.

U.S. forces carried out a strike against an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant training camp and a senior leader of the terrorist organization, according to a DoD news release issued last week.

The U.S. military goes to extraordinary lengths to limit the risk to civilians in the campaign to defeat ISIL, he said.

"Our forces watched this training camp for weeks leading up to the operation and never had any indication that civilians were present," Davis said.

"We do continue to express our deepest condolences to the Serbian government and the family of those killed," he said. "We'll continue to share whatever information we can with them."

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)