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Opposition: Libyan Forces Resume Misrata Shelling


In this image taken from Associated Press Television News footage an unidentified person runs away from a shelled checkpoint near the port area of Misrata, Libya, May 1, 2011

In this image taken from Associated Press Television News footage an unidentified person runs away from a shelled checkpoint near the port area of Misrata, Libya, May 1, 2011

Witnesses and opposition spokesmen say Libyan forces have launched new attacks on the western city of Misrata.

Witnesses said tanks on the western side of the besieged city launched shells Monday, a day after forces attacked the city's battered port area. The bombardment Sunday occurred as a Maltese aid ship, the Mae Yemanja, was unloading food and medical supplies. The vessel quickly moved back to sea.

Embassies attacked

Also Sunday, the Italian and British embassies in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, were attacked in apparent retaliation for a NATO missile strike that was said to have killed one of leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons and three young grandchildren. The unrest prompted the United Nations to pull its international staff out of Tripoli.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the embassy attacks, which left the British mission badly burned. Hague said attacks on diplomatic missions violate the Vienna Convention, and he said his government is expelling the Libyan ambassador to Britain.

Italy confirmed its embassy was among several in Tripoli damaged by vandals. It accused Gadhafi's government of failing to take measures to protect foreign missions.

Most western countries had closed their Tripoli embassies and evacuated their staffs before the NATO military intervention began several weeks ago.

Condemnation

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner condemned the attacks, adding that he also has seen reports indicating U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya were targeted. He said Gadhafi's failure to protect the diplomatic missions was another "breach" of Libya's international obligations.

The United Nations said 12 international staff have been temporarily evacuated from Tripoli to Tunisia because of the unrest. The U.N. said the decision does not affect local staff or international personnel in rebel-held Benghazi.

No confirmation

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29, and three of his children were killed late Saturday in what Ibrahim called a direct attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The deaths have not been independently confirmed.

Ibrahim said the senior Gadhafi and his wife were in their son's home at the time, but were not hurt. He said several other people were injured. Journalists taken to the site of the house reported extensive damage.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said coalition targeting policy is in line with a U.N. mandate to prevent "a loss of civilian life." Cameron said NATO forces are targeting Libya's command and control units, as well as military hardware, not specific people.

Russia's foreign ministry condemned the airstrike, saying Moscow has "serious doubts about statements by coalition members that strikes on Libya are not intended to physically eliminate Gadhafi and his family."

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