Gaddafi's 'reign of terror' nearing end: Nato chief
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's "reign of terror" is coming to an end, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday.
Nato warplanes have been raising the pace of their air strikes on Tripoli, with Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah compound in the center of the city being hit repeatedly.
Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma arrived yesterday in Tripoli for talks with Gaddafi on ending a conflict with rebels fighting to oust the Libyan strongman, an AFP correspondent said.
Britain said on Sunday it was to add "bunker-busting" bombs to the arsenal its warplanes are using over Libya, a weapon it said would send a message to Gaddafi that it was time to quit.
"Our operation in Libya is achieving its objectives ... We have seriously degraded Gaddafi's ability to kill his own people," Rasmussen told a Nato forum in Varna, Bulgaria.
"Gaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end. He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad. Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting."
Britain and other Nato powers are ratcheting up their military intervention in Libya to try to break a deadlock that has seen Gaddafi hold on to power despite a rebel uprising against his four-decade rule and weeks of air strikes.
Gaddafi denies attacking civilians, saying his forces were obliged to act to contain armed criminal gangs and al Qaeda militants. He says the Nato intervention is an act of colonial aggression aimed at grabbing Libya's plentiful oil reserves.
South African leader Jacob Zuma was expected to arrive in Tripoli yesterday, his second visit since the conflict began, to try to broker a ceasefire on behalf of the African Union.