Big blasts shake downtown Tripoli

2011-04-25 07:20

Heavy explosions shook the centre of Tripoli early today as warplanes overflew the Libyan capital, AFP journalists said.

The blasts, the strongest to have hit the city so far, shook the hotel in which foreign correspondents here are staying not far from downtown.

The explosions came at 12:10am in several districts of Tripoli, which has been the target since Friday of intensive Nato raids.
Libyan state television transmissions were briefly cut off right after the explosions, before resuming a few minutes later.

Witnesses told AFP they had seen columns of smoke rising above the Bab Al-Aziziya district where Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi maintains his vast residence. Nato had already targeted the area late Friday.

An international coalition intervened in Libya on March 19 under a UN mandate to end the bloody suppression of a revolt that started in mid-February against the Gaddafi regime, which has been in power for 41 years.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation took over command of the military intervention on March 31.

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