Fresh air raids in Tripoli

2011-04-23 07:52

Tripoli - Nato forces carried out fresh air raids early on Saturday on Tripoli, where several blasts were heard after many warplanes flew over the Libyan capital, AFP journalists said.

Anti-aircraft fire rang out as ambulance sirens wailed. Al-Libya television said Tripoli was "now the target of raids by the barbaric crusader colonialist aggressor," a euphemism for Western forces.

Several loud blasts had already been heard in Tripoli late on Friday, after Nato warplanes overflew Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's stronghold throughout the day.

Three explosions were heard at 18:15 in the west of the city, followed minutes later by several more blasts.

Among the targets was a patch of bare ground surrounded by walls and turrets whose entrance is under permanent army guard opposite the Bab al-Aziziya residence near the centre of the capital. Authorities who took foreign correspondents there said it was "a parking lot".

Two bombs targeted what looked like a bunker. At the bottom of two craters two metres wide and more than a metre deep could be seen a layer of concrete pierced by the bombs. Nearby were a dozen empty ammunition cases.

"They are sewers," officials explained. They did not report any victims.

An international coalition launched air strikes against Kadhafi's forces on March 19, in a declared mission to protect civilians under a UN mandate. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation took control of the operation on March 31.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nato  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  uprisings
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