Tripoli is hit by coalition bombs and missiles every night, yet there is little reliable evidence of any casualties. The coalition countries know that killing civilians would be disastrous in this war, and they are plainly making big efforts to avoid it.
Libyan television often shows news pictures which purport to be those of civilian victims, but they are impossible to verify. The authorities here are anxious to persuade the outside world that large numbers of civilians are dying.
And there is a precedent. In 1986, when the US bombed Tripoli, international opinion quickly turned in favour of Libya because there were many civilian casualties, and the international journalists who were in Tripoli at the time were able to confirm them.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi adopted a young girl as his daughter just as she was dying from her injuries, and to this day journalists often repeat the line that his daughter was killed in the bombing. It was a particularly clever propaganda stroke.
But times have changed, and so has military technology. The old myth of pinpoint precision bombing has become much more of a reality.