NATO jets strike inside Gaddafi compound

Libya official says Gaddafi used building for ministerial meetings; Rebel spokesman: Gaddafi forces retreating from Misrata after 2 month siege.

By REUTERS
April 25, 2011 04:28
1 minute read.
An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft in Iraq.

Armed UAV predator drone 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of US Air Force)

A NATO air strike flattened a building inside Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound early on Monday, in what a press official from Gaddafi's government said was an attempt on the Libyan leader's life.

Firefighters were still working to extinguish flames in a part of the wrecked building when journalists were brought on a government-organized trip to the scene, a few hours after three loud explosions shook central Tripoli.

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The press official, who asked not to be identified, said Gaddafi used the destroyed building for ministerial and other meetings. She said 45 people were injured, including 15 who were seriously hurt, and some were still unaccounted for after the attack.

On Sunday, the western Libyan city of Misrata came under heavy bombardment by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a rebel spokesman said.

Government forces had retreated in the coastal city of Misrata after a siege of nearly two months and rebels fighting to overthrow Gaddafi had claimed victory there on Saturday

"The situation is very dangerous," rebel spokesman Abdelsalam said by telephone from Misrata.

"Gaddafi's brigades started random bombardment in the early hours of this morning. The bombardment is still going on. They targeted the city center, mainly Tripoli Street, and three residential areas."

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He gave no indication of casualties in the bombardment. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the fighting for Misrata.

The rebel spokesman said that NATO planes, which have been bombing Libyan positions for more than a month, had been seen flying over Misrata but there was no sign of air strikes.


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