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NATO Airstrike a ‘Warning’ to Libyan Government Loyalists, Say Rebels

  • Peter Clottey

Moammar Gadhafi supporters inspect damage following an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya. The airstrike on Gadhafi's sprawling residential compound early Monday badly damaged two buildings, including a structure where Gadhafi often held meetings, guards at the

Moammar Gadhafi supporters inspect damage following an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya. The airstrike on Gadhafi's sprawling residential compound early Monday badly damaged two buildings, including a structure where Gadhafi often held meetings, guards at the

A NATO airstrike Monday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, destroyed at least one public building in a complex where Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi lives.

A prominent member of the opposition Libyan National Movement, Mufta Lamloom, said the attack should serve as another warning to government supporters that the international community wants him to cede power.

Lamloom also called for more NATO airstrikes on the armories and depots where Gadhafi loyalists store their ammunition, saying they will prevent the government from shelling more civilian targets.

His statement came after at least two large bombs rocked the compound area in the Bab al-Aziziya complex, located in the city’s center.

A Libyan official said 45 people were wounded in the strike and others were still missing. A security guard at the site, however, said four people were hurt.

Authorities said the bombed building was used for ministerial gatherings and other meetings. Three Libyan state television stations briefly went off the air soon after the loud explosions were heard in central Tripoli.

Gadhafi's whereabouts at the time of the raid were not clear.

Lamloom said NATO’s airstrike should also serve as a warning to Gadhafi’s insiders and allies that their “time is up.”

“Some of the people around him should start thinking and telling him that enough is enough and that we should find a solution because [this] will not lead us to anything but the destruction of the country,” said Lamloom.

“Because whenever he is going to leave, he is not going to take anyone with him. He will leave people behind, and they have to start thinking [about] what the future has for them,” he added.

He called on the international community to put more pressure on Gadhafi to force him to relinquish power.

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