Airstrikes continue over Tripoli as rebels train for more fighting

Airstrikes continue over Tripoli as rebels train for more fighting

Loud explosions were heard in southern parts of Tripoli on Friday as airstrikes by coalition forces imposing a no-fly zone over Libya continued, dpa reported.

A Libyan military spokesman said several civilian and military sites in the country's capital were bombed in the attack. He did not elaborate.

Friday's raids came just hours after NATO announced in Brussels it had agreed to take over enforcement of the United Nations-mandated no-fly zone.

Since Saturday, the impromptu coalition directed by the United States and aided by a number of countries, including Britain and France, has taken out both Libyan air defences and Libyan ground forces in order to prevent attacks on civilians.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim warned late Thursday against airstrikes targeting the building housing state television and radio. He called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene to stop attacks against civilian institutions.

State media have reported that an unspecified number of people were killed in Thursday's airstrikes on the city of Tajura, just east of Tripoli. However, the opposition said the bodies belonged to rebels killed by forces loyal to leader Moamer Gaddafi.

Gaddafi's forces continue to battle for control, but his brigades have been severely weakened, with the British saying earlier this week that his air force no longer existed as a fighting force.

But rebels say that snipers and plain-clothed informants loyal to the embattled leader remained a threat to them, as they seek to take over Misurata, the country's third-largest city, which they believe serves as a gateway to Tripoli.

Rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi continued their military training to fight against the forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Young Libyans headed to the camp, set up in the city by the opposition national council, from different cities.

"We want to sacrifice all we have for Libya. But I have nothing, except my faith. This is why I came here to help my fellow Libyans," a young man told Al Arabiya broadcaster from the February 17 Camp.

A spokesman for the opposition National Council has said earlier that opposition forces can count on around 1,000 fighters.

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