BRUSSELS (AFP) – NATO late on Sunday acknowledged it was responsible for civilian deaths during a Tripoli bombing raid, after Libyan officials claimed toddlers among nine dead.

An alliance statement said "NATO acknowledges civilian casualties in Tripoli strike" during action targeting a Libyan military missile site.

"It appears that one weapon did not strike the intended target and that there may have been a weapons system failure which may have caused a number of civilian casualties," the statement added.