Heavy fighting in Tripoli is concentrating around the Bab al-Aziziyah compound near the old town, port and beach — between the opponents of Muammar Gaddafi and his fighters. It is not known if Gaddafi is in the fortified command hub. Some sources say the rebels have made it past the outer defences.
NATO forces also bombarded the stronghold. NATO has said Gaddafi himself is not a target, and it does not have a problem with his leaving the country; it wants political solutions in Libya.
The military alliance said it stepped up raids when the rebels began their coordinated advance on the capital and other key locations at the weekend.
Foreign governments that previously avoided coming out against Gaddafi have joined mostly Western powers in saying his four decades of absolute power are over; this includes Gaddafi’s Arab neighbours and Russia and China.
Western leaders said again they will not commit ground forces to peacekeeping in Libya.