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NATO Forces Bombard Near Gadhafi’s Tripoli Compound

May 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT
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JEFFREY BROWN: Next, two takes on the war in Libya, beginning with the latest bombing by NATO forces.

Angus Walker of Independent Television News reports from Tripoli.

ANGUS WALKER: For half-an-hour, NATO airstrikes blasted targets near Col. Gadhafi’s compound. It was the heaviest bombardment of central Tripoli for more than two weeks. NATO said it hit a vehicle compound used for resupplying Gadhafi’s troops.

Libyan government officials took camera crews to a nearby hospital, showing reporters three dead and claiming 150 were injured.

MUSSA IBRAHIM, Libyan government spokesman: We have three martyrs so far. The injured have been taken to two different hospitals. This is one of them. Some of them, of course, were treated, and they have gone home already because of their light injuries. Some have bigger, more serious injuries. Some have died, of course, as you have seen.

ANGUS WALKER: NATO has been expanding its range of targets in central Tripoli, hitting Col. Gadhafi’s fortified compounds, intelligence headquarters, and naval vessels in the city’s harbor.

The bombing campaign is into its third month, and, yet, the Libyan regime clings onto power. NATO rejects claims that it has lost momentum. Now it’s understood that, if the decision is taken, three Apache helicopters on board HMS Ocean in the Mediterranean will go into action. Another two are on standby in the U.K.

The helicopters are expected to enforce a 16-mile buffer zone around Misrata to prevent Libyan artillery hitting the recently besieged city. NATO is trying to find a way to finish what it started.