Huge fire hits Gaddafi's residential compound in Tripoli

08:42, June 08, 2011      

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Smoke is seen after a strong explosion in Libya's capital Tripoli as NATO airstrikes hit the area on June 7, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)

A huge fire erupted in Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's vast Bab al-Aziziya residential compound in the capital Tripoli, an eyewitness told Xinhua Tuesday.

Libyan civil defense teams managed to douse the fire, Xinhua correspondent said, adding that smoke could be seen rising from a military base, not far from Bab al-Aziziya residential compound.

At least 15 loud explosions rocked Tripoli midday Tuesday as NATO airstrikes hit a military base and Gaddafi's compound.

Gaddafi's compound was under "intensive continuous bombardment, " according to Libya's state TV, which reported buildings and infrastructure in the area of Gaddafi's compound were destroyed in the strikes.

Libyan officials have continually charged that NATO airstrikes have damaged civilian facilities and killed hundreds of civilians.

The world's major powers, the UK, the U.S. and France, started on March 19 to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi 's forces after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in Libya.

NATO formally taken over full command and control of military operations against Libya from the U.S. on March 31.

Source: Xinhua
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