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For a third night international military coalition bombs Tripoli

Tuesday, March 22nd 2011 - 08:36 UTC
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Military hardware destroyed by allied air attacks Military hardware destroyed by allied air attacks

Loud explosions have rocked the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for a third night as forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attempt to stop any new attack from an international military coalition enforcing a no-fly zone over the country, Al Jazeera reports.

Gunfire and anti-aircraft fire lit up the sky late on Monday in and around the capital, where two large explosions could be heard about 10 minutes apart shortly after 9pm, said Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Tripoli.

She said two naval bases just outside the city had reportedly been hit in the strikes.

“We could see an area of the port on fire, substantially on fire, two big blazes. We saw fire engines racing along the coastal road,” she said.

“This evening seems to have been about targeting seaborne military assets of Gaddafi's army, but also we are given to understand [there was] an attack on the airport at Sirte.”

Mussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, told a news conference that the coalition bombardment had killed civilians in port areas and at Sirte airport and had hit the southern town of Sebha, a bastion of Gaddafi's tribe.

Meanwhile, international coalition forces reportedly struck radar installations at two air defence bases belonging to Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi in eastern Libya.

The developments came as the UN Security Council rejected a Libyan request for an emergency meeting to halt what it called “military aggression” by coalition forces three days after they began launching strikes aimed at disabling Libyan air defences.

The council decided instead to hold a briefing already planned for Thursday to inform on the coalition air campaign to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

Libyan government spokesman Ibrahim said Misurata, Libya's third-largest city 211km east of Tripoli, was “liberated three days ago” and that Gaddafi's forces were hunting “terrorist elements”.

But a spokesman for opposition fighters in the city told the AFP news agency that the opposition remained in control despite an onslaught by Gaddafi loyalists, who he said opened fire with tanks and set snipers on roofs to gun down people in the streets.

He said the road between the eastern city of Benghazi and Ajdabiya was littered with the “burned-out wreckage of what was Gaddafi's armour and tanks,” destroyed in air raids by coalition forces.

Government troops retreated 100km from Benghazi, the opposition stronghold, after fierce strafing by coalition aircraft destroyed much of their armour, AFP reported.

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • briton

    One American plane down with engine problems,
    Italy may or may not withdraw if nato is not in charge.
    the Arab nations in part, don’t want the NATO in charge in part.
    so now we have a coalition that uses nato equipment,
    Russia complaining bitterly, china wants more talking, Germany who voted against it, now wants to change he mind, and turkey causing all sorts of upsets, the Americans stuck in the middle,Gaddafi
    tries to laugh it off. the British who came out first , for pushing for a no fly zone is having trouble with bases, but swears that all is ok, we don’t need carriers, the french are up up and away, but last night publicly stated they were worried that they and the brits may be left holding the candle.
    chaotic to say the least, but at least trying and getting there,, and where is the mighty American president, touring the Americas putting them up as examples to the rest of the world, trying to stay out of any argument over Libya, [my point] this would make a great comedy if it was not so serious , [get it together, the world is watching]
    just an opinion

    Mar 22nd, 2011 - 01:38 pm 0
  • Typhoon

    Why would South American opinion matter? The majority have only just emerged from the jungle and are busy trying to get back in!

    Mar 23rd, 2011 - 03:34 pm 0
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