NATO war planes have pounded the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in their most sustained bombardment since air strikes began in March.
In wave after wave of attacks, the jets struck at different parts of city. Libyan officials said at least 31 people were killed in over 60 strikes.
At the same time, Libyan state television showed images of Muammar Gaddafi at an unidentified location, apparently meeting tribal leaders. The message from the Libyan leader was that he will stay in Tripoli, dead or alive.
As the bombing intensifies, world powers are making diplomatic overtures to the rebels in their stronghold of Benghazi.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s envoy Mikhail Margelov turned up, aiming to give Moscow a more prominent role in resolving the conflict.
“We truly believe that Gaddafi has lost his legitimacy after the first bullet which was shot against the Libyan people…we are for political solutions but not for the escalation of the military conflict,” said Margelov.
Russian reluctance over NATO action contrasts with that of the US which says it is only a matter of time before Gaddafi is ousted.