Sunday, July 17, 2011

NATO airstrikes rattle Libyan capital

Source: Press TV

NATO airstrikes have caused a series of powerful explosions in the main bastion of embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

At least eight blasts were heard early on Sunday in the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to AFP.

Witnesses reported a number of dull rumbles and flashes and huge plumes of smoke billowing to the east of Tripoli in the aftermath of the NATO aerial attacks.

The state-run Al Jamahiriya television network reported that "the colonialist crusader aggressor" (NATO) had attacked civilian and military sites in the Ain Zara and Tajoura districts in the eastern suburbs of Tripoli.

The television network added that there have been several casualties as a result of the attack but did not give any figures.

On Saturday, heavy clashes broke out between revolutionary forces and forces loyal to Gaddafi in the town of Bir Ghanam in Libya's Western Mountains.

The revolutionary forces in Bir Ayad, situated 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Bir Ghanam, said Gaddafi loyalists were sending a column of reinforcements to Bir Ghanam to take on the opposition forces, which hold the high ground on the outskirts of town.

Revolutionary forces in Libya's Western Mountains have made steady progress in recent weeks. It is said that they are advancing toward the town of Gharyan after managing to repel attacks by Gaddafi forces.

Libya has been the scene of intense fighting between revolutionaries and forces loyal to Gaddafi since mid-February that has left hundreds dead and thousands injured.

Tripoli and some western provinces remain under Gaddafi's control while the revolutionaries hold Benghazi, most of the east, and several western cities.

NATO has recently intensified its attacks on Libya, ostensibly to increase pressure on Gaddafi.

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