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Gaddafi forces attack Tripoli compound

Muammar al-Gaddafi's former compound, Bab al-Aziziya, is being pounded by his own forces

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(Antler)

Muammar al-Gaddafi's former compound is now being pounded by his own forces loyal to the regime with at least seven mortars falling on Bab al-Aziziya in Tripoli within a 40-minute period, CNN reports.

The compound came under fire by pro-Gaddafi forces on Wednesday, a day after rebel fighters captured the symbolic heart of Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi's regime. They have not captured Gaddafi and is unknown where he is hiding.

Meanwhile, fresh clashes broke out Wednesday outside the Rixos hotel, where about 35 international journalists are trapped, CNN reports.

Several rockets landed near the Tripoli International Airport, which is under control of the rebels, and rebel Commander Mukhtar Al-Akhbar said four rebel fighters were found bound and executed nearby.

Rebels were struggling to control an area east of the airport, causing speculation that loyalists could be protecting a high-profile figure in the vicinity.

CNN reports:

Claiming it controls 90% of the country and was days away from "a new Libya," the rebel government said it is planning to move many of its key ministries to the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Wednesday.

Shamsiddin Ben Ali, a spokesman for the National Transitional Council -- the rebel government -- told CNN that Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte would probably fall peacefully through negotiations by Wednesday.

Gadhafi's regime, however, slammed the notion its fall was imminent.

On Wednesday, two Arabic networks aired an audio message purportedly from Gaddafi that called upon all Libyans "to clear the city of Tripoli and eliminate the criminals, traitors and rats."

"They are hiding between the families and inside the civilian houses," the message said. "It's your duty to enter these houses and take them out."

CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the message.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/110824/gaddafi-forces-attack-compound-tripoli