sponsored by

Fresh round of NATO strikes hit Tripoli outskirts

Send a link to a friend

[June 09, 2011]  TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- NATO airstrikes rattled the Libyan capital Thursday with eight clusters of bombing runs believed to have targeted the outskirts of Tripoli.

The intensity of the attacks suggested a return to the heavy NATO bombardment of the city on Tuesday that hit military installations across the capital and flattened major buildings in leader Moammar Gadhafi's sprawling compound in the center of the city. Government officials did not say what had been targeted in the Thursday bombing runs.

On Tuesday, NATO conducted its heaviest attacks on Tripoli since it began airstrikes two months ago in support of a rebel insurgency. The four-month old rebel uprising seeks to push Moammar Gadhafi from power after four decades. Rebels have taken control of swaths of eastern Libya, although fighting has since become a stalemate even with NATO support.

Gadhafi shows no signs of ceding power under the building pressure of the NATO strikes, despite repeated attacks on his compound, government buildings, military radar emplacements and other army installations.

Fighting on the ground between Libyan government forces and the rebels had largely died down after the NATO strikes began. The Western alliance took to the skies over Libya under a U.N. resolution that allowed NATO flights to protect rebel force. What began as a no-fly zone quickly evolved into strong attacks on the regime.

On Wednesday, however, Gadhafi forces renewed their shelling on the outskirts of the western city of Misrata, killing 10 rebel fighters. Misrata is one of the few footholds rebels have in western Libya. NATO reported it had destroyed a "electronic warfare vehicle" and military training camp in the vicinity of the city as government forces had renewed their assault on the port city.

The alliance enumerated a series of hits in around Tripoli on Wednesday, including a surface-to-air missile site, a tank, four armored fighting vehicles and a command and control facility.

Despite its inability so far to oust Gadhafi, NATO is preparing for a post-Gadhafi era in the country.

Senior representatives from the U.S. and more than 30 other countries and groups were meeting Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.

[to top of second column]

The officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rhodium Clinton, hope to boost support for the Libyan opposition, which has been seeking broad international recognition and financial support with mixed results.

The U.S. on Wednesday said the first shipment of Libyan oil sold by the opposition Transitional National Council had been delivered to an American refinery. The U.S. is encouraging such sales to help the council assist the Libyan people.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado said on Thursday that Lisbon soon would recognize the rebel administration.

"This decision will be taken soon ... because that is the way international approach is heading," Amado told the national news agency Lusa in Lisbon. A Portuguese diplomatic delegation is due to visit Benghazi in coming days.

NATO rejected any post-Gadhafi role for the alliance, saying it was imperative that the international community, the United Nations in particular, start preparations for helping the country's transition to a democratic government.

[Associated Press; By DIAA HADID]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor