Blasts heard in central Tripoli


At least six powerful explosions were heard from central Tripoli early evening, a Reuters correspondent in the Libyan capital said.

Aircraft could be heard overhead at the time of the blasts, before sunset. NATO has been bombing targets connected with leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government since March.

Minutes after the explosions were heard, Libyan television said in a written news flash: “The city of Tripoli is undergoing attack now by the colonialist crusader aggressors.”

NATO forces have been striking targets in and around the capital most nights, usually shortly before or after midnight. Strikes during daylight hours, like Saturday’s, are relatively rare, Reuters reports.

The military alliance says it is hitting Gaddafi’s military to protect civilians after his forces launched a crackdown against an uprising. Leaders of Western countries say they will not stop bombing until Gaddafi steps down.

Gaddafi says the strikes are colonialist aggression in support of a revolt by rebels he brands criminals.