Military

NATO Warplanes Hit Libyan Military Targets Near Tripoli, Brega

VOA News July 17, 2011

NATO warplanes have bombed targets near the Libyan capital, Tripoli, a day after hitting the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi around the eastern oil port of Brega.

The latest NATO air strikes shook the eastern outskirts of Tripoli before dawn Sunday. It was not immediately clear what targets were struck or whether there were any casualties. Gadhafi has used the western city as his main power base in a five-month-long battle against rebels trying to end his 42-year-long autocratic rule.

Libyan rebels who control most of eastern Libya and parts of the west are trying to advance on Tripoli from both fronts with the help of NATO air strikes on pro-Gadhafi forces.

NATO reported hitting a range of Libyan military targets near Tripoli on Saturday, including a storage facility, three radars and a surface-to-air missile launcher. It says alliance warplanes also struck pro-Gadhafi armored vehicles and rocket launchers near Brega.

Libyan rebels have been trying to capture the strategic oil port from Gadhafi loyalists in recent days, but the better-armed loyalists have slowed the rebel advance through the use of landmines and shelling. At least 10 rebels have been killed in the fighting.

Gadhafi has made a series of defiant speeches in the past week, vowing not to leave power as demanded by the rebels and Western powers. The rebels won a diplomatic boost on Friday when representatives of 30 nations meeting in Istanbul declared the rebel Transitional National Council to be Libya's legitimate authority.



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