Western Coalition Trying to Avoid Civilian Deaths in Libya, Gates Says

The Western coalition carrying out air strikes in Libya is trying to avoid civilian casualties and is targeting air defences in sparsely populated areas, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.

"The coalition is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and most of the targets are air defense targets isolated from populated areas," Gates said in Moscow where he met Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

"I also told him that I thought the significant military fighting that has been going on should recede in the next few days," Gates said.

Serdyukov condemned civilian deaths in Libya.