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Explosions Rock Libyan Capital

A plume of smoke rises following an late-night airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, May 24, 2011
A plume of smoke rises following an late-night airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, May 24, 2011

Fresh explosions rocked Libya's capital late Tuesday.

Journalists in Tripoli say they heard at least six loud blasts.

The explosions occurred a day after NATO carried out some of its most intense bombings yet over the capital, including airstrikes near leader Moammar Gadhafi's compound.

Russia reacted to the NATO bombing campaign on Wednesday, calling the new airstrikes over Tripoli a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the strikes are not stopping the confrontations between pro-Gadhafi forces and rebels but are only creating more suffering for Libyan population.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma announced plans to travel to Libya in a bid to try to help resolve conflict. A statement released by President Zuma's office on Wednesday says the South African leader will hold talks with Gadhafi in Tripoli on Monday. The statement says Zuma will negotiate in his capacity as a member of a high-level panel of the African Union.

On Tuesday, a high-ranking U.S. official who is visiting Libya said the rebel Transition National Council (TNC) has accepted an invitation from U.S. President Barack Obama to open a representative office in Washington. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said the U.S. is no longer communicating with Gadhafi and considers the opposition council the legitimate voice of the Libyan people. However, the U.S. has stopped short of granting formal recognition to the TNC.

Feltman, who is a three-day visit, commented from the rebel stronghold, Benghazi. He is the most senior U.S. official to visit the country since the uprising against Gadhafi began in February.

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