NATO says it struck Kadhafi command sites

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NATO has fired a barrage of missiles against Moamer Kadhafi's command and control centres near Tripoli, including a brigade accused of leading attacks on civilians, officials said Tuesday.

The military alliance conducted "deliberate, multiple strikes against command and control facilities of the Kadhafi regime" on Monday night, NATO said in a statement.

The targets included communications infrastructure used to coordinate attacks against civilians, and the headquarters of the 32nd Brigade located 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Tripoli.

The brigade "has been used to lead and coordinate military actions against the Libyan civilian population," NATO said.

"NATO will continue its campaign to degrade the Kadhafi regime forces that are involved in the ongoing attacks on civilians," said Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO operations in Libya.

In a separate statement, the British military said its HMS Triumph warship fired a number of Tomahawk missiles in the early hours of Monday morning as part of the operation.

"These were synchronised with precision strikes by coalition aircraft, including Tornadoes and Typhoons," said Major General John Lorimer, strategic communication officer to the Chief of Defence Staff.

"A further salvo of Tomahawk missiles was launched by Triumph at additional command and control sites last night," he said.

In a list of Monday's operations, NATO said it destroyed nine ammunition bunkers in the vicinity of Tripoli as well as six surface-to-air missiles, four tanks, three air defence missile sites and one mobile rocket launcher near Misrata.

The alliance said it also struck three ammunition storage bunkers near Sirte, Kadhafi's home town, as well as three tanks, one anti-aircraft weapon system and one armoured vehicle near Zintan.

One regime building was destroyed in the vicinity of the eastern oil town of Brega.

Libya's official news agency JANA reported earlier that NATO air strikes on Tuesday hit the Libyan capital Tripoli, Sirte and also the town of Aziziyah, south of the capital.

Deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim said these raids were carried out "at the request of the rebels who are preparing to carry out massacres in the region."

Early in the afternoon, AFP journalists in Tripoli reported at least one plane flying over the capital.

© 2011 AFP

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