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NATO Airstrike Rocks Gadhafi Compound

VOA News April 25, 2011

A NATO airstrike on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the capital, Tripoli, has destroyed at least one public building.

At least two large bombs rocked the compound area Monday in the Bab al-Aziziya complex, located in the city's center.

A Libyan official says 45 people were wounded in the strike and others are still missing. A security guard at the site, however, says four people were hurt.

Authorities say the bombed building was used for ministerial gatherings and other meetings. Three Libyan state television stations briefly went off the air soon after the loud explosions were heard in central Tripoli.

Gadhafi's whereabouts at the time of the raid are not clear.

The attack comes as fighting continued in the western rebel-held city of Misrata.

Government troops unleashed a barrage of rockets there on Sunday, despite a government claim that it had halted operations against rebel fighters there.

Heavy shelling and gunfire in Misrata has left hundreds dead in two months of a bloody government siege. Doctors say at least 32 people have been killed in fighting since Saturday.

CNN reports that a Libyan government spokesman explained the latest deaths by saying the army came under rebel attack as it withdrew from Misrata. He said troops just were fighting back as they continued to withdraw.

Early Sunday, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said the army had suspended operations against rebels in Misrata but had not left the city, the country's third-largest. Kaim said troops halted their offensive so that tribal elders could negotiate with the rebels.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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