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NATO Bombs Strike Tripoli; Rebels Advance in Misrata

A Libyan rebel fighter shouts slogans as he welcomes comrades heading towards the front line outside the Libyan eastern city Ajdabiya on May 10, 2011.
A Libyan rebel fighter shouts slogans as he welcomes comrades heading towards the front line outside the Libyan eastern city Ajdabiya on May 10, 2011.

NATO bombings shook the Libyan capital Tuesday, as rebels claimed to have pushed government forces further away from the besieged port city of Misrata.

The alliance says airstrikes in Tripoli targeted a military command and control facility run by pro-government forces.  Residents said one of the bombs hit a building used by Libya's military intelligence agency.

NATO officials again denied they are targeting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but one strike sent up smoke from what appeared to be Mr. Gadhafi's compound.

In Misrata, a rebel military spokesman said opposition forces have pushed government troops back about 15 kilometers from the city as opposition fighters advanced to the town of Dafniya.  Colonel Ahmed Bani also said rebels had dislodged pro-Gadhafi forces from around the airport after two days of heavy fighting.

In eastern Libya, rebels reported advances between the towns of Ajdabiya and Brega.

In another boost to the opposition, the U.S. State Department said the first load of non-lethal American military aid for the rebels landed Tuesday in their stronghold of Benghazi.  The Associated Press quoted spokesman Mark Toner as saying the shipment consists of more than 10,000 meals, with further deliveries of medical supplies, boots and protective gear to arrive soon.

The shipment comes ahead of planned meetings in Washington this week between U.S. officials and senior members of Libya's opposition Transitional National Council.

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