Central Tripoli rocked by series of explosions

NATO warplanes bombed targets in the Libyan capital early on Saturday, causing damage and casualties,...

Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he enters the U.N. headquarters for the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2009. AFP

NATO warplanes bombed targets in the Libyan capital early on Saturday, causing damage and casualties, Libyan state television said, without giving details.

A Reuters witness said there were at least six blasts, adding they were the largest to the hit the capital in several weeks.

Four explosions rocked the hotel where international media were based and two more were heard slightly further off.

NATO has been engaged in a air campaign as part of a United Nations mandate to protect civilians targeted by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Rebels have been fighting to overthrow Gaddafi since February, but their military progress has become bogged down, and there have been renewed calls among the international community for a negotiated settlement to the conflict.