STRIKES ON GADHAFI RESIDENTIAL COMPOUND

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) – A cruise missile
blasted Moammar Gadhafi’s residential
compound in an attack that carried as
much symbolism as military effect, and
fighter jets destroyed a line of tanks
moving on the rebel capital. The U.S. said
the international assault would hit any
government forces attacking the
opposition.

 
Libyan soldiers survey the damage to an administrative
building hit by a missile at Moammar Gadhafi’s
compound in Tripoli, Libya, early Monday.

 
Oil prices jumped to nearly $103 a barrel
Monday in Asia after the Libyan leader vowed
a “long war” amid a second night of allied
strikes in the OPEC nation. Jubilant rebels
said they expected to bring him down in a
matter of days.

 

It was not known where Gadhafi was when
the missile hit near his iconic tent late
Sunday, but it seemed to show that while the
allies trade nuances over whether the Libyan
leader’s fall is a goal of their campaign – he
is not safe.

 
Half of the round, three-story administration
building was knocked down and pieces of
the missile were scattered around, according
to Associated Press photographer escorted
to the scene by the Libyan government.
About 300 Gadhafi supporters were in the
compound at the time. It was not known if
any were hurt.

 
Britain said Monday one of its bombing
missions was aborted last night to avoid
civilian casualties.

 

“We believe that a number of civilians had
been moved within the intended target area,”
the Ministry of Defense said Monday. State
television had said Gadhafi’s supporters
were converging on airports as human
shields.

 
The U.S. military said the bombardment so
far – a rain of Tomahawk cruise missiles
and precision bombs from American and
European aircraft, including long-range
stealth B-2 bombers – had hobbled
Gadhafi’s air defenses. More missile strikes
overnight did new damage to anti-aircraft
sites, the Italian military said.

 
U.S., British and French planes also went
after tanks headed toward Benghazi, in the
opposition-held eastern half of the country.
On Sunday, at least seven demolished tanks
smoldered in a field 12 miles south of
Benghazi, many of them with their turrets
and treads blown off, alongside charred
armored personnel carriers, jeeps and SUVs
of the kind used by Gadhafi fighters.

 


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