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Libya rocked by new wave of bombing

Libya has been rocked by a second night of allied air strikes as a cruise missile destroyed a building in Muammar Gaddafi's compound.

Half of the administration building at the site in Tripoli was knocked down, although US authorities insisted Gaddafi was not a target.

It came as a Royal Navy submarine joined US forces in targeting the dictator's air defences, but a mission involving RAF Tornado jets had to be aborted to avoid civilian casualties.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed a British Trafalgar-class sub stationed in the Mediterranean fired Tomahawk missiles at air defence targets in Libya as part of a co-ordinated action for the second night in succession.

Spokesman Major General John Lorimer said of the aborted Tornado mission: "As the RAF GR4 Tornados approached the target, further information came to light that identified a number of civilians within the intended target area.

"As a result the decision was taken not to launch weapons. This decision underlines the UK's commitment to the protection of civilians."

An Associated Press photographer, who was among journalists escorted to the scene of the damaged administration building in Tripoli by Libyan government officials, saw smoke rising from the three-storey building and pieces of cruise missile scattered around the area.

About 300 Gaddafi supporters were in the compound at the time, but it is not known if any were hurt. It was not clear where Gaddafi was at the time of the attack.

The onslaught continued despite a ceasefire announced by the Libyan authorities at 7pm UK time, which was treated with suspicion in London and Washington. Earlier on Sunday, Gaddafi had threatened "a long war", and his forces launched a fresh assault on rebels in Misrata.

Downing Street said that Gaddafi remained in breach of his obligations under last week's United Nations resolution, which the coalition would continue to enforce. "His obligations are very clearly set out by the UN Security Council resolution. Our assessment is that he is in breach of these obligations so we will continue to enforce the resolution."


From Belfast Telegraph