Earlier reports from Tripoli based on eyewitness statements said the strike had damaged buildings housing the radio stations leading to outages in broadcasts in the east of the country.
But a NATO statement issued in Brussels said that aircraft had ‘struck a command and control target in Tripoli, specifically a key Gaddafi regime intelligence headquarters building’ early Monday.
Tripoli residents said life had come to a near-standstill. They said the offices of the attorney general had been destroyed.
Most shops in Tripoli have been closed for nearly a month and university classes have been suspended on concerns that students may hold anti-government protests, according to a witness.
Residents in Tripoli are unable to find petrol for their cars, with filling stations closed for over a week. Residents are relying on buses and motorcycles for transport, a resident said.
The airstrikes came just days after rare anti-Gaddafi protests erupted in Tripoli on Friday and Saturday.
Rallies were broken up by pro-Gaddafi loyalists, said a resident who spoke to the German Press Agency dpa on condition of anonymity.
Citing witnesses, the government said that two NATO planes had been hit during an airstrike on the eastern city of Brega, which is held by pro-Gaddafi forces. NATO denied the report.
Rebels have taken the western city of Yefren located in the Nafusa Mountains. The area has seen fierce fighting in recent weeks between opposition fighters and government forces.
The Feb17 opposition online group, citing a Yefren resident, said the town was free of Gaddafi forces, but clashes were continuing in Bir Ayyat, southwest of Yefren. On Sunday, a Gaddafi loyalist was injured and captured, while 10 rebels were injured.
The International Crisis Group said NATO and the states supporting military action should facilitate a political breakthrough in Libya, not hinder it.
‘The international community has a significant responsibility for the course events will take’, says Robert Malley, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Programme Director.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he did ‘not envisage a leading role for NATO’ in Libya once the military mission was over. It was for the UN, the EU, the African Union and the Arab League to help the Libyan people, he said.
Since the beginning of the operation, NATO had destroyed or damaged almost 1,800 legitimate military targets, including 100 command and control sites, over 700 ammunition stores, almost 500 tanks, armoured person carries and rocket launchers, Rasmussen said.
Protests against Gaddafi, who has been in power for 42 years, began in mid-February, but soon turned into an armed conflict following a lethal government crackdown on demonstrators.
NATO’s airstrikes began at the end of March after the UN Security Council passed a resolution enforcing the protection of the civilian population in Benghazi in particular.
The rebels say the fighting has left more than 12,000 civilians dead