LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

horizons hr-euphrates

Cruise missile blasts Gadhafi's compound near tent

TRIPOLI, Libya – The Associated Press | 3/21/2011 12:00:00 AM |

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.

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.

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.

Libya, meanwhile, on Monday accused coalition forces and rebels of violating a new ceasefire declared late on Sunday by Gadhafi's military, JANA news agency quoted defense ministry sources as saying.

"The other parties have not respected the ceasefire. Bombs and missiles continue to target Libya as the al-Qaeda terrorists also continue their attacks," the official agency quoted the sources as saying. "The bombs and missiles of the aggressors have killed dozens of civilians at a time when Libya is respecting a total ceasefire," they added.

After on Friday announcing a truce that was not respected, Gadhafi's army declared a new ceasefire on Sunday, saying it was responding to an African Union call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. U.S. President Barack Obama's national security aide Tom Donilon swiftly dismissed the announcement, saying the new ceasefire "isn't true" or has been "immediately violated."

Compiled from AP and AFP reports by the Daily News staff.

MOST POPULAR

MOST COMMENTED

    AcerProS.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency