The incident was one of those things once known as the “fortune of war”; except of course that the Libyan operation is not war. At best the bomb which reportedly killed Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s youngest son and his three grandchildren, might be called is the Fortunes of R2P. The Washington Post has a series of photographs showing the bomb impact and the bomb itself.
A NATO spokesman appeared to deny the Duck himself had been targeted. “‘We do not target individuals,’ said Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, Commander of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector. ”
The New York Times said the target was a military installation. The article further said that Khadaffi was reported to have been at the target, but survived. “A NATO official in Naples, Italy, reached by e-mail and responding on condition of anonymity, said that allied planners had not known Qaddafi family members were in the building that was attacked, which the official described as a command and control center. The official would not specify the nationality of the aircraft or pilots that carried out the strike. ”
The photos show the bomb itself to be a bunker-buster penetrator which did not detonate. Such bombs are made out of thick, hardened steel casings, sometimes converted from artillery tubes, and packed with explosive. One such weapon is the GBU-28, “built from modified 8 inch/203 mm artillery barrels (principally from deactivated M110 howitzers), but later examples were purpose-built”. It has a diameter of 14 inches and is used by the US and Israel.
Compare the photos of the projectile and the entries below with the video of the GBU-28 in action. They are not conclusively the same, but they are the same type of ordnance.