LIBYA UPDATE: Initial attacks highly successful - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

LIBYA UPDATE: Initial attacks highly successful

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Libya's opposition says troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are bombarding the rebel-held city of Misrata, the only city in western Libya not under Gadhafi's control.

The artillery and tank fire comes despite a barrage of missiles and air strikes from U.S. and European forces aimed at taking out Gadhafi's air defenses and other military targets.

French aircraft devastated a Libyan tank force 12 miles south of Benghazi, leaving at least seven smoldering in a field hours later alongside two charred personnel carriers and a dozen other burned-out vehicles.

U.S. and British ships have also fired more than 100 cruise missiles at Libyan radar systems, communications centers and missile sites.

Libya claims there have been civilian casualties, and that's prompted the head of the Arab League to say the strikes have gone beyond enforcing a no-fly zone, which the league had supported.

But the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, says he hasn't seen any reports of civilian casualties.

He does say Gadhafi has resorted to using human shields in an attempt to prevent further attacks.

A senior U.S. military official says the initial attacks have been highly successful, while not fully eliminating the threat posed by Libyan air defenses.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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