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NATO says aims to stop violence, not to kill Gaddafi

RIA Novosti

19:00 26/04/2011 BRUSSELS, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - The NATO-led military operation in Libya does not aim to eliminate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the commander of coalition forces said on Tuesday.

The Libyan authorities accused NATO on Monday of trying to "assassinate" Muammar Gaddafi after the coalition dropped at least two guided bombs on Gaddafi's compound in the heart of Tripoli.

"This operation is not about personalities or the change of the regime...This is about bringing an end to the violence," Canadian Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard told reporters in a video link from his headquarters in Naples.

Bouchard said the Bab al-Aziziya complex was "a military compound with... various military command and control nodes throughout" and should be considered a legitimate target in airstrikes.

NATO has been enforcing a UN resolution to protect civilians in Libya since mid-March.

The alliance has stepped up airstrikes around Tripoli and four other major cities in recent days.

Despite dozens of sorties carried out by NATO aircraft against Gaddafi's forces, the government troops maintain their combat capability and continue to pound poorly-equipped rebels with heavy artillery and rocket fire.

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