Coalition forces have attacked Libya from the air and sea as they try to stop Colonel Gaddfi’s offensive on the rebel-held east of the country.
Loud explosions have been heard in the capital of Tripoli as the United States, Britain and France enforce a no-fly zone above Libya.
As smoke billowed from Gaddafi’s presidential palace, a Pentagon official denied the Libyan leader was being targeted.
Vice Admiral Bill Gortney also said he had no indication that any civilians had been killed and that the allies were only targeting military assets,
He called the raids “very effective” but he stressed that the rebel held city of Benghazi was not yet safe from attack by Gaddafi’s forces.
Russia has hit out at “the non selective use of force” in Libya — Moscow abstained in the UN Security Council vote authorising foreign intervention.