Monday, May 23, 2011

NATO Warplanes Bomb Libyan Capital, 3 Reported Killed

Heavy raids on Libyan capital, government says 3 dead

8:50pm EDT

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Heavy explosions were heard in the Libyan capital Tripoli early on Tuesday and a government spokesman said NATO airstrikes had killed three people and wounded 150.

Spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said the strikes had targeted a compound of the Popular Guards, a tribally-based military detachment. The compound was largely empty and the casualties were people living in the vicinity, he said.

NATO warplanes have been carrying out air strikes on Libya for more than two months since the United Nations authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces in the country's civil war.

Reuters correspondent Joseph Logan, reporting from Tripoli, said earlier he had heard planes overhead and at least a dozen very loud blasts, and seen a column of smoke rising. Authorities were taking foreign journalists to view casualties in a hospital.

A correspondent for Arab news channel Al Arabiya, monitored in Cairo, said 17 missiles had struck various parts of Tripoli.

(Reporting by Joseph Logan in Tripoli and Sami Aboudi in Cairo, writing by Mark Trevelyan, editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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