News / Africa

Anti-Aircraft Fire Erupts Over Tripoli as More Nations Enforce No-Fly Zone

A Danish F-16 fighter-bomber takes off from the NATO airbase in Sigonella, Italy,  March 21, 2011
A Danish F-16 fighter-bomber takes off from the NATO airbase in Sigonella, Italy, March 21, 2011

Anti-aircraft fire has erupted over the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with at least one explosion shaking the city as more Western nations joined a coalition enforcing a U.N.-authorized no-fly zone over Libya.

The anti-aircraft fire and explosion were heard in Tripoli after nightfall Monday. Libyan state television said the capital was under a new attack by coalition warplanes.

Earlier, the head of the U.S. military's Africa command said coalition warplanes carried out more patrols in Libyan airspace during the day, with seven nations participating in the mission alongside the United States.

Speaking from his headquarters in Germany, General Carter Ham said the other nations include Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy and Spain. He said the focus of the mission, which began with airstrikes on Saturday and Sunday, has now shifted to extending the no-fly zone from eastern Libya to cover Tripoli in the west.  

General Ham said U.S. and British forces also fired 12 Tomahawk missiles in the previous 24 hours at Libyan military targets. He said the goal of the air and missile strikes is to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by Mr. Gadhafi's forces, not to target the Libyan leader.

The U.S. commander also said the coalition has no mandate to provide direct support to Libyan rebels who began an uprising last month aimed at ending Mr. Gadhafi's 42-year rule.

But, he said coalition airstrikes on pro-Gadhafi fighters who advanced on the rebels' eastern stronghold of Benghazi had left the government troops "with little will or capacity to resume offensive operations."

Hundreds of Libyan rebels based in Benghazi launched a counter-offensive Monday, moving south along the coast and retaking the nearby oil port of Zwitinia. The poorly-organized fighters also raced toward the town of Ajdabiya, which they lost to pro-Gadhafi forces last week. But, the rebels came under fire from government troops and were forced to pull back.

In the west, residents of Misrata said government tanks and snipers besieging the rebel-held city fired on opposition protesters Monday, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 50.

Rebels accused government troops of forcing people from neighboring towns to gather in Misrata for a pro-Gadhafi rally, creating a human shield against coalition airstrikes. A Libyan government spokesman said Misrata had been liberated from rebel control later in the day. The rebel and government claims could not be independently verified.

A U.S. military official said a British air strike on the Tripoli compound of Mr. Gadhafi late Sunday targeted his "military command ability." The strike heavily damaged a building inside the complex. There was no word on casualties.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told the nation's parliament Monday that the coalition has "neutralized" Libyan air defenses and made "good progress" in achieving its mission to protect civilians. He also said coalition operations had averted what he called "bloody massacre" of Benghazi residents by Gadhafi loyalists.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Washington expects to turn control of the mission in Libya over to its coalition partners in the coming days.

The U.N. Security Council agreed to hold a meeting on Libya on Thursday. Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kousa had written to the council requesting an emergency session to respond to what he called military aggression against his country. He accused the United States and France of bombing civilian targets in violation of international norms.

Washington and Paris have said there is no evidence of civilian casualties from coalition operations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid