Nato airstrikes target Gaddafi's warships

Sunday 23 October 2011 09:04

Nato fighter jets struck at three Libyan ports in bombing runs overnight, targeting Muammar Gaddafi's navy in an effort to protect the nearby rebel-held port of Misrata, in the broadest attack on naval forces since the alliance joined the conflict.

One bombing run hit the main port of Tripoli, where reporters could see flames and smoke rising above the stricken warship. Other targets were the Khoms port, between Tripoli and Misrata, and Sirte, east of the city.

In Brussels yesterday Nato confirmed that its warplanes targeted the ports and accused Libya of using its ships in the escalating conflict, including attempts to mine the harbour in Misrata. Rebels have been struggling to hold Misrata against repeated attacks by regime forces.

Major-General John Lorimer, said British aircraft hit two Libyan warships in Khoms harbour and "successfully targeted a facility in the dockyard constructing fast inflatable boats, which Libyan forces have used several times in their efforts to mine Misrata and attack vessels in the area".

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