Tripoli, July 25 : NATO warplanes blitzed a string of military targets in Tripoli on Sunday, an official said, as embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi blamed a "colonial plot" for the conflict engulfing his country.
"In Tripoli there were two command and control nodes, two surface-to-air missile launchers and one anti-aircraft gun (hit)," a NATO official said from the mission's headquarters in Naples, Italy.
An AFP reporter said two blasts occurred at 0320 IST in the area housing Gaddafi's residence in the heart of the capital, followed by others in the city's eastern and southeastern suburbs.
A column of smoke was seen over Gaddafi's residential complex, which had been targeted by NATO warplanes yesterday, when the transatlantic military alliance confirmed seven strikes and said they hit a military command node.
Gaddafi meanwhile late yesterday said in an audio message broadcast on state television that the unrest that has swept his country since a popular uprising erupted mid-February was a "colonial plot." He did not elaborate.He also denied accusations by international rights groups of a brutal suppression of dissent and allegations that his regime had killed thousands of protesters.
"They lie to you and say, 'Libya kills its people with bullets, that is why we have come to protect civilians'," Gaddafi said, referring to the NATO air campaign which was mandated by the United Nations with the aim of protecting civilians in Libya. AFP