Airstrikes hit near Gadhafi’s residential compound

NATO airstrike slams secret bunker in Tripoli

Topics: Libya, Africa,

Airstrikes hit near Gadhafi's residential compoundHolding posters of their leader, supporters of Moammar Gadhafi chant slogans following a NATO airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, early Saturday, April 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)(Credit: AP)

Two missiles apparently fired by NATO warplanes struck near Moammar Gadhafi’s sprawling compound in central Tripoli early Saturday, setting off loud booms but causing no injuries.

On the other side of the country, a rebel commander said NATO aircraft destroyed more than two dozen trucks and cars carrying Gadhafi’s forces not far from the contested city of Ajdabiya.

Reporters were taken to an unpaved plot next to the Bab Aziziyeh compound and shown two craters, apparently from the missiles that had pierced through thick layers of reinforced concrete, laying bare what looked like a bunker system.

About two dozen Gadhafi supporters arrived at the scene, waving green flags in support of the Libyan leader.

Libyan officials said the lot served as a parking lot but a series of olive-colored metal boxes near the crater suggested the area was being used for military activities.

NATO stepped into the Libyan fighting in mid-March, unleashing airstrikes against Libyan military targets as part of a U.N. mandate to protect Libyan civilians.

Rebel battalion commander Col. Hamid Hassy said NATO aircraft destroyed 26 government pickup trucks and sedans, but otherwise there hasn’t been much fighting today between Gadhafi forces and the rebels. The front in the east has been stalled between the oil town of Brega and Ajdabiya for weeks.

You Might Also Like

A senior Libyan government official, meanwhile, said late Friday that the military is withdrawing from one of the fiercest battles in two months of fighting, over the western city of Misrata. Libyan forces have besieged the rebel city for nearly two months, with rebels defending positions in the port area.

Earlier this week, rebels took over several highrise buildings in downtown Misrata, driving out dozens of Libyan army snipers who witnesses say had been firing from high ground at residential areas.

In another boost for the rebels, the U.S. dispatched Predator drones to Libya earlier this week. The unmanned drones, which can swoop low, have been used in Afghanistan to hunt and kill militants, and are suited for urban combat.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said tribal leaders have given the army an ultimatum, saying it must step aside if it cannot retake control of Misrata.

The tribal leaders would fight the rebels if they don’t surrender, Kaim said late Friday night.

Asked if that meant troops would get out of the way, he said: “This is how I imagine it would happen.” However, he said negotiations between the military and tribal leaders are continuing.

Kaim did not say when the military would pull back from Misrata or when the armed tribesmen would move in. “We will leave it for the tribes around Misrata and the Misrata people to deal with the situation in Misrata,” Kaim told reporters.

Having tribesmen take up the fight in Misrata could make it harder for the Predators to distinguish them from Misrata’s civilians or the rebels.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between rebels and government forces in the city of 300,000.

The international community has accused Libyan forces of firing indiscriminately at civilian areas with tanks, rockets and mortars.

Associated Press writer Sebastian Abbot contributed to this report from Benghazi.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>