NATO Shells Area Near Gadhafi’s Tripoli Compound

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 1:40 am (UTC-5)
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NATO fighter jets have bombed the area near Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's Tripoli compound in a pre-dawn raid Thursday.

A series of thunderous booms rocked the capital city and a column of smoke could be seen rising from near Mr. Gadhafi's Bab-al-Aziziya compound.

It was not immediately clear what had been hit and there was no word on casualties.

NATO warplanes have repeatedly targeted the area near the compound. Nightly rallies are held there in support of Mr. Gadhafi's more than four-decade reign.

Earlier, on Wednesday, forces loyal to the Libyan leader bombarded rebel positions in the Western Mountains region.

Rebels, meanwhile, made advances from the port city of Misrata toward Zlitan, about 135 kilometers east of Tripoli.

Also Wednesday, the head of the AU's committee on Libya, Mauritania's Hamady Ould Hamady, told the U.N. Security Council a cease-fire linked to a political solution is needed to end the “indescribable suffering” of Libyan civilians.

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted his country could sustain its operations in Libya. He spoke prior to a meeting with the head of NATO, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on the alliance's operation in Libya.

Earlier this week, the head of Britain's Royal Navy warned his British fleet might not be able to sustain the scale of its operations off the Libyan coast in the long term, without cutbacks elsewhere.