Tripoli, Aug 19. – Tripoli was under a new wave of bombardments by NATO planes as rebel forces claimed new advances by land, as yet unconfirmed by the Libyan official media. Dense columns of smoke rose in the Bad el Aziziya area, where the residence of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is located, and in districts of the western outskirts of this metropolis, which is longer than it is high, given the reluctance of Muslim families to live in high-rises.
The bombings come in the middle of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims devote themselves to fasting and prayer.
Zawiya, a conflict-torn city 50 kilometers west of the capital, was also hammered by highly-destructive bombs, which NATO has been dropping on this country for more than five months.
Forces loyal to the government are fighting rebel troops advised by Western experts, but it was not clear which side had effective control of that area.
Since mid-week, spokespersons for the self-proclaimed National Transitional Council say they have made important advances in the areas of
Bazh, Gananat and Ahamada, as well as Zlitane, accounts that were refuted by government spokespeople.
The anti-government forces also claimed to be tightening their encirclement of Tripoli, and U.S. officials stated that "Gaddafi's days are numbered." (Prensa Latina)