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NATO airstrikes counter bombing by Gaddafi forces

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NATO airstrikes counter bombing by Gaddafi forces

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It has been a day of attack and counter attack in Libya. After pro-Gaddafi forces launched artillery gun fire at the rebel held towns of Misrata and Zintan, NATO planes responded with air strikes.

The developments highlight the reliance the rebel movement has on Western military support. But Saturday’s NATO air raid on a Gaddafi compound in Tripoli added a new element.

Yesterday a few hundred Libyans gathered in the capital including two of Muammar Gaddafi’s other sons to bury their brother Saif al-Arab. He died in the NATO attack.

His death angered Gaddafi loyalists who reacted by burning down several foreign embassies in the capital.

Despite Western denials the air raid was an assassination attempt on the Libyan leader, there has been renewed debate over whether the NATO campaign is exceeding a UN mandate to protect civilians.