Share this article

print logo

Air strike hits Gadhafi compound But whereabouts of leader unknown

An air strike on Moammar Gadhafi's sprawling residential compound early today badly damaged two buildings, including a structure where Gadhafi often held meetings, guards at the complex said.

Two large missiles or bombs exploded in Gadhafi's Bab Al-Aziziya compound just after midnight, lightly wounding four people, according to a security guard at the site who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Gadhafi's whereabouts at the time of the attack were unclear.

The two bombs badly damaged a multi-story building, and a second structure was damaged by the blasts. The second building apparently was used for more ceremonial purposes: Sofas and chandeliers and picture frames that had been knocked to the ground could be seen amid the rubble.

Early in the campaign against Gadhafi last month, a cruise missile destroyed half of an administration building in the same complex.

In Washington on Sunday, three members of the Senate Armed Services Committee said that more should be done to drive Gadhafi out of power, including targeting his inner circle with air strikes.

Gadhafi "needs to wake up every day wondering, 'Will this be my last?' " Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican on the committee, told CNN's "State of the Union."

Graham, R-S.C., and Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz., said they interpreted the U.N. Security Council resolution -- authorizing military action to protect Libyan civilians and imposing a no-fly zone -- as also allowing moves necessary to drive Gadhafi from power.

Today's attack came a day after Gadhafi's forces unleashed a barrage of shells and rockets at Misrata in an especially bloody weekend that left at least 32 dead and dozens wounded. The battle for Misrata, which has claimed hundreds of lives in the past two months, has become the focal point of Libya's armed rebellion against Gadhafi since fighting elsewhere is deadlocked.

Despite the barrage, rebels said they drove the last pro-government forces from the center of Libya's third-largest city.

A senior Libyan government official has said the military is withdrawing from fighting in Misrata, ostensibly to give a chance to tribal chiefs there to negotiate with the rebels.

"It's not a withdrawal. It's a defeat that they want to turn into propaganda," said Dr. Abdel-Basit Abu Mzirig, head of the Misrata medical committee. "They were besieging the city and then they had to leave."

There are no comments - be the first to comment