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'NATO air strikes' set government buildings ablaze

Video by Khalil BECHIR , Willy BRACCIANO , Jade BARKER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-17

Firefighters fought to control flames at Libya’s anti-corruption agency and security services building in Tripoli Tuesday following apparent NATO air strikes. The two explosions occurred near leader Muammar Gaddafi’s residence in the capital.

AFP - A security services building and the headquarters of Libya's anti-corruption agency were on fire in the capital Tripoli early Tuesday after apparently being hit by NATO air strikes.

The two buildings on Al-Jumhuriya Avenue are close to the residence of strongman Moamer Kadhafi in an area where two explosions were heard around 1:30 am (1130 GMT Monday).

By 3:00 am firefighters were battling to control flames that were tearing through the two facing buildings, said an AFP correspondent who was with a group of international journalists brought to the area by Libyan authorities.

The head of Libya's Ministry for Inspection and Popular Control, the anti-corruption agency, was at the scene and said that some ministry employees had been injured, but provided no further details.

Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim later said that the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) had directed NATO to attack the agency in a bid to destroy files related to former regime officials who have joined the rebellion.

"We believe that NATO has been misled to destroy files on their corruption cases," he told journalists.

Three explosions had also been heard at about 1800 GMT on Monday in the same area.

Parts of Tripoli have been targeted almost daily by NATO-led strikes launched on March 19 after a UN resolution called for the protection of civilians from Kadhafi's regime.
 

Date created : 2011-05-17

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