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Arriving Passengers Tell of U.S. Air Strike

April 18, 1986

ROME (AP) _ An Italian businessman who arrived Thursday on a flight from Tripoli said he saw children killed during the U.S. air raid on the Libyan capital and ″it froze my blood.″

Elio Paris, a business consultant for an Italian company who said he had been traveling to Libya for 12 years, said life had returned to normal in Tripoli since the air raids early Tuesday but he remained angry.

″The real tragedy is what was done at two o’clock that morning by the Americans,″ he said. ″This is a criminal act. That’s the real terrorism.

″I’m angry because I saw children killed. I have children. It froze my blood.″

He said the American planes ″bombed houses, there’s no doubt about it. I helped bring out a Libyan child myself″ from the rubble.

Paris declared himself amazed to hear an Italian radio report that the estimated 8,000 Italians in Libya were not safe. He said there was ″absolutely no danger″ in the North African country, which is a former Italian colony.

Airport sources said no Americans were among the 109 passengers on the Libyan Arab Airlines flight and 90 were Italians.

Altan Bakay, a Turkish businessman, said he did not seen damage at either the military or civilian sections of the Tripoli airport, but Ugo Turchi, an Italian, reported seeing two Soviet-built aircraft that had been destroyed.

The military portion of the airport was one of the raid’s targets.

Update hourly