Monday, April 25, 2011

Where's Moammar? NATO Strikes Gadhafi Compound

Updated at 10:45 a.m. edt

Despite claims from the Libyan government, the strikes by two Norwegian F-16s on Moammar Gadhafi's compound overnight were not an assassination attempt, a diplomatic official confirmed a short while ago.

The strike was targeting a communications site in the Bab el-Azizia compound, the foreign official said.

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Moammar Gadhafi is in hiding today after NATO dropped a barrage of bombs and missiles on his compound in Tripoli overnight not seen since the start of the United Nations-sanctioned air campaign little more than a month ago.

NATO also attacked targets around Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte and near rebel-held Misurata overnight in dozens of strikes as the alliance keeps its promise to rain down hell on Gadhafi until he capitulates.

Libyan officials accused NATO of trying to assassinate Gadhafi with the strikes, which injured dozens of Gadhafi's staff and loyalists in the Bab el-Azizia compound. At least one building was leveled in the assault.

"Gadhafi compound hit last night with some of the heaviest ordnance we have seen used since conflict began," CNN's Fred Pleitgen Tweeted this morning from Tripoli.

NATO warplanes were targeting Gadhafi's communications headquarters, the alliance said in a statement issued this morning. NATO also said it bombed an ammunition storage facility and a munitions bunker near Tripoli.

Three Libyan TV stations also went off the air briefly following the strikes.

“Yalla NATO you just made many Libyans rejoice by bombing crap out of Libya TV," Tweeted Habiba Hamid, Middle Easterrn affairs expert and editorial writer at The National in the United Arab Emerites.

In the vicinity of Misurata, NATO took out a tank and a munition storage facility.

In Sirte, NATO hit four ammunition shelters and four ammunition bunkers.

The alliance also struck a tank and four rocket launchers in Mizdah, and bombed a pair of infantry fighting vehicles near Zintan.

NATO warplanes have flown a total of 3,725 sorties, including 1,550 strike sorties, since the alliance took control of the mission at the end of last month.

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