TRIPOLI, Libya — NATO airstrikes rattled the Libyan capital Thursday with clusters of bombing runs believed to have targeted the outskirts of Tripoli.
The intensity of the attacks suggested a return to the kind of heavy NATO bombardment that hit military installations across the capital on Tuesday and flattened major buildings in leader Moammar Gadhafi's sprawling compound in the center of the city. Government officials did not say what had been targeted in the Thursday bombing runs.
There were eight explosions in the first strikes Thursday. Hours later, the sound of six more attacks boomed in the distance.
Gadhafi showed no signs of ceding power under the building pressure of the NATO strikes, despite repeated attacks on his compound, government buildings, military radar emplacements and other army installations. But Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that there are "numerous and continuing" overtures by people close to Gadhafi to negotiate his departure from power.
Speaking to reporters after an international conference on Libya in the United Arab Emirates, Clinton said proposals from "people close to Gadhafi" presented to unspecified countries included the "potential for a transition." But she said she could not predict if they would be accepted.
In Brussels on Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that shelling near Misrata underscored the continued need to protect civilians. "It is an example that the Gadhafi regime still constitutes a threat to the civilian population," he said. "We will stay committed as long as necessary."
Troops encircle northern town
Syrian troops and heavy armor encircled a rebellious northern town, and hundreds of people fled through a single escape route across the lush Turkish border, sharply escalating the upheaval that threatens Syria's authoritarian regime. The town of Jisr al-Shughour emptied as its residents crossed olive groves and gravel roads, trying to get away from the tanks and elite forces. Turkey's foreign minister said more than 2,400 Syrians crossed the border.
12 suspected militants are killed in Abyan
Yemeni government troops trying to recapture areas held by Islamic militants killed 12 suspected al-Qaida members in the troubled southern province of Abyan, where militants have taken advantage of a breakdown of authority resulting from the government's battle with armed tribesmen seeking to topple the autocratic leader of more than three decades. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has clung to power throughout months of protests against his rule, had surgery to remove shards of wood that lodged in his chest when a rocket splintered a pulpit in a mosque where he and top aides were praying. Saleh's condition stabilized enough to move him out of intensive care at the Saudi Arabian military hospital where he is being treated.
Victims from uprising are finally buried
The last 19 victims among hundreds killed during Egypt's uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak have been buried in Cairo, hailed as martyrs who sacrificed their lives for freedom. Their bodies lingered for months in Cairo's morgues, never identified or claimed by anyone, until authorities approved a communal funeral. A total of 846 Egyptians were killed during the mass street demonstrations when Mubarak's feared police cracked down on the protesters, shooting many in the head and chest.