NATO airstrike hits Gadhafi's compound; We will not surrender

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed Tuesday that "we will not surrender," even as NATO airstrikes bombarded his compound in Tripoli.

"I am now speaking as planes and bombs fall around me," Gadhafi said in a live audio broadcast on state television. "But my soul is in God's hand. We will not think about death or life. We will think about the call of duty."

At least three explosions rocked Tripoli late Tuesday night; it was not immediately clear what they hit.

Earlier in the day, NATO targeted a military base and Gadhafi's compound, state television reported. A spokesman for the Libyan government said that at least 31 people were killed, including a number of civilians, and dozens more were wounded after 60 missiles struck the capital city.

The compound was under "intensive continuous bombardment," according to state TV, which reported buildings and infrastructure were destroyed.

"We will not surrender, we will not give up," Gadhafi said. "We have one option -- our country. We will remain in it 'til the end. Dead, alive, victorious, it doesn't matter."

The blasts Tuesday, and others Monday that Libyan officials said hit state television buildings, elicited heated responses from the government spokesman.

"We believe NATO understands that its military campaign is failing miserably," said spokesman Musa Ibrahim. "No one has the right to shape Libya's future except for Libyans."

Ibrahim said Tuesday's morning blasts hit the popular guard compound and revolution compound, which are military barracks near Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound.

The spokesman said the attack on the television network killed two people and wounded 16.

NATO disputed the account.

"We did not target or hit the Libyan broadcast facilities. What we did target was the military intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli," the alliance said. "The story coming from Libyan officials that we targeted and hit the state broadcaster's building is bogus."

The back and forth between Libyan officials and NATO continues a public relations war between the two sides.

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

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said recently that his forces have made "significant progress" in its U.N. Security Council mandate to protect Libyan civilians.

This week, the Libyan government said it had evidence that alliance airstrikes were harming civilians.

Officials took journalists to Tajura, a city east of Tripoli, to show them a small crater that held what appeared to be the remains of a rocket.

The reporters were also taken to nearby homes that the government said had been damaged by airstrikes.

NATO said it had been active in the area hitting military sites but could not say whether the attacks had caused the damage in the residential area.

Reporters were also taken to a nearby hospital to see Nasib, a comatose baby who was a victim of the airstrikes, the government said.

A woman, who the government said was Nasib's mother, cried over the child's listless body.

Journalists were not allowed to talk to the woman or to the doctors. But one doctor quietly slipped a note to one of the journalists that said the girl was injured in a car accident, not a bomb attack.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking Tuesday to British lawmakers, said the European Union has added six additional ports controlled by pro-Gadhafi forces to its sanctions list in an effort to starve Gadhafi's troops of military supplies.

He said the United Kingdom intends to push for additional sanctions against Gadhafi's regime.

"Any political settlement in Libya requires an end to violence and Gadhafi's departure," Hague said.

 

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