Tripoli rocked by explosions.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
TRIPOLI - The Libyan capital has been rocked by a series of explosions on Sunday night. Libyan state television said NATO air strikes had hit civilian and military targets in Tripoli.
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Power and petrol shortages gripped Tripoli on Sunday as well, giving rise to frustration as the months of conflict with NATO-backed rebels take their toll on a city that is the seat of embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi's power.
The Gaddafi government blames NATO airstrikes and the rebels backed by the alliance in a bid to end Gaddafi's 41-year-rule for the shortages.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters this week that power shortages were caused by NATO strikes on power turbines and rebel attacks on pipelines.
"These attacks are aimed at starving and displacing the Libyan people
and causing a humanitarian crisis. What do power lines have to do with
military battles or protecting civilians?" Kaim said.
"It is unethical what NATO is doing for all the world to see. But Libyans, thank God, know who really is behind this."
The message has sunk in with at least some segments of the Tripoli
public. Vegetable merchant Abdul Salim Tarhouni said his home goes
without power for many hours at a time, and he blames the airstrikes.
"We have no fuel, no cars, and it's all NATO's fault," he said. "It's
okay, though -- even if we have to go without water, we will stand by
Many residents have no air conditioning during peak summer heat and no
refrigeration as they prepare for evening meals during the Muslim holy
month of Ramadan. Some areas of the Libyan capital are getting as little
as four hours of power a day, residents said this week.
The sudden deterioration in electricity supplies is piling pressure on
Libyans already grappling with the impact of the Gaddafi government's
increasing isolation and almost six months of civil conflict that has
torn this North African country in two and brought punishing NATO
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