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Allied air strikes hit Gaddafi's stronghold of Sabha - Libyan state TV

RIA Novosti

10:38 27/03/2011

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Coalition warplanes attacked Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's stronghold of Sabha in southwest Libya on Sunday, the country's state television reported.

The air strikes targeted Gaddafi's military base located in the town, which is a major air and auto transport center. There have been no reports about casualties among civilians and the military so far.

On Saturday, Libyan rebels backed by allied airstrikes retook Ajdabiya, a strategic oil town about 60 miles to the south of their main stronghold of Benghazi, from Gaddafi loyalists. Libya's Jana national news agency quoted a military source as saying the coalition's airstrikes eliminated almost all the tanks of Gaddafi's forces in Ajdabiya, leaving them no chance for defense.

French aircraft attacked on Saturday an air base outside a key rebel-held town of Misrata, about 120 miles east of Tripoli, destroying five Libyan warplanes and two helicopters.

Libyan military officials have said the international coalition's warplanes attack both military and civilian targets in Libya to pave the rebels' way to oil facilities, suggesting that the allies coordinate their actions with the rebels.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, also permitting "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The operation to enforce the no-fly zone, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, is being conducted jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France. Libyan state media outlets have reported that dozens of people have been killed by the airstrikes.



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