Strike hits Gaddafi compound in Tripoli

  • Mon Mar 21st 2011

A three-storey building in a military command centre used by Muammar Gaddafi has been destroyed in an air strike by coalition forces.

The Sunday-night strike was the first reported attack on the Bab al-Azizia, a sprawling compound in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, that Gaddafi has used several times as a setting for televised addresses, and which was bombed by the United States in 1986.

The regime invited journalists to visit the site of the attack early on Monday morning. Spokesman Mussa Ibrahim called it a "barbaric bombing" but said no one had been hurt. He declined to say whether Gaddafi himself was inside the compound.

Coalition forces from France, the United Kingdom, United States and other nations began striking the regime''s military assets on Saturday as part of an effort to enforce a UN Security Council resolution aimed at protecting Libyan civilians.

Coalition officials told journalists on Monday that the building hit in the attack was a military command and control centre for Gaddafi.

Other loud explosions rocked Tripoli on Sunday night, as Britain''s ministry of defence said one of its submarines had again fired guided Tomahawk missiles on Libyan air defence systems.

The blasts came two days after the United Nations Security Council authorised international military action to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks by Gaddafi forces on civilians.

The uprising against Gaddafi broke out on February 15, and hundreds of civilians have died in the regime''s brutal crackdown.

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