Series of Nato strikes rock Tripoli
Nato air raids shook Tripoli yesterday as the UN denounced crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the conflict between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and rebels seeking to topple the strongman.
A series of six blasts at around 12:35am were followed by several more a few minutes later in the Libyan capital, the target of intensive Nato air raids for the past weeks, an AFP correspondent reported.
Nato warplanes had carried out raids late Monday and Tuesday on Tripoli, the suburb of Tajura and Al-Jafra, 600 kilometres to the south.
Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said Tuesday that Nato air raids on Libya had killed 718 civilians and wounded 4,067 since they were unleashed on March 19 and up to May 26, but Nato said there was nothing to verify the claim.
Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem meanwhile became the latest member of Gaddafi's regime to resign, saying in Italy that he had left Libya to join the uprising against his former boss and "fight for a democratic country."
On the ground in Libya, a huge car bomb rocked a major hotel Wednesday in Benghazi, the Libyan rebels' capital in the east of the country, but caused no casualties, witnesses and police said.
A commission of inquiry set up by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva accused Gaddafi's regime of carrying out systematic attacks on the population, saying that it committed not only crimes against humanity but also war crimes.
While it found fewer reports of violations by the opposition, the commission also said rebel forces committed acts that constituted war crimes.
The 47-member UN Human Rights Council set up the investigation into suspected crimes against humanity in February after Gaddafi's regime dispatched Libya's army and air force to fire on civilians.