News / Africa

NATO Airstrike Targets Gadhafi Compound

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

At least two large bombs rocked the compound area Monday in the Bab al-Aziziya complex, located in the city's center.  NATO says it targeted a communications headquarters used to coordinate attacks against civilians.

Libyan officials, however, say the strike was an attempt to assassinate Mr. Gadhafi.

Reporters have been unable to verify casualties.  A Libyan government spokesman ((Mussa Ibrahim)) says the strike killed three people and wounded 45, but says Mr. Gadhafi remains alive and "in high spirits."

Authorities say the bombed building was used for ministerial gatherings and other meetings.

The Libyan leader's whereabouts at the time of the raid are not clear.

The attack comes as fighting continued in the western rebel-held city of Misrata.

NATO said Monday its aircraft had destroyed multiple-rocket launchers, tanks and bunkers in and around Misrata, Tripoli and Sirte in the last two days.

Government troops unleashed a barrage of rockets there on Sunday, despite a government claim that it had halted operations against rebel fighters there.

Heavy shelling and gunfire in Misrata has left hundreds dead in two months of a bloody government siege. Doctors say at least 32 people have been killed in fighting since Saturday.

CNN reports that a Libyan government spokesman explained the latest deaths by saying the army came under rebel attack as it withdrew from Misrata.  He said troops just were fighting back as they continued to withdraw.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim had said on Sunday troops halted their offensive in Misrata so that tribal elders could negotiate with the rebels.

Meanwhile, British defense officials say Defense Secretary Liam Fox is traveling to the U.S. Monday to discuss the Libyan conflict with his American counterpart, Robert Gates.

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

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