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NATO strikes Libyan govt weapons depot

world Updated: May 09, 2011 23:52 IST

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Nato planes pounded Libyan government weapons depots southeast of the town of Zintan on Monday, in a sign of widening conflict in the Western Mountains region as rebels battle to unseat Muammar Gaddafi.

“The air strikes occurred around 9.00am GMT. We saw big plumes of smoke and heard explosions,” said a rebel spokesman in Zintan who gave his name as Abdulrahman. There was no immediate comment from Nato or from Tripoli.

Two months into a conflict linked to this year’s uprisings in other Arab countries, rebels hold Benghazi and towns in the east while the government is firmly in control of the capital and other major cities.

Tripoli says most Libyans support Gaddafi and brands the rebels as armed criminals and al Qaeda militants.