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Renewed NATO air strikes rock Tripoli


NATO war planes are continuing to bombard the Libyan capital Tripoli, with large explosions echoing over the city.

At least three strikes in the early hours of Friday sent plumes of smoke over Tripoli, and the direction of the strikes suggested that either the compound of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's embattled leader, or nearby military barracks were shelled.

After the strikes, pro-Gaddafi supporters fired assault rifles into the air and beeped their car horns in defiance.

The night strikes followed a total of 14 air attacks that were carried out on Thursday, considerably fewer than the heavy bombardment on Tuesday that flattened major buildings in Gaddafi's compound in the centre of the city.

The continued air raids came as Gaddafi forces renewed their shelling near the rebel-held western city of Misurata on Wednesday, killing at least 12 rebel fighters.

In Brussels, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, said the shelling near Misurata underscored the continued need to protect civilians.

"It is an example that the Gaddafi regime still constitutes a threat to the civilian population,'' he said. "We will stay committed as long as necessary."


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