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Tue 22 Feb 2011 01:45 AM

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Residents give conflicting reports of Tripoli attacks

Some residents claim they could hear only gunfire, others say warplanes were firing live rounds at protesters on city's streets

Residents give conflicting reports of Tripoli attacks
Demonstrators hold pictures of Libyas leader Moamer Kadhafi during a protest against his regime in front of the Libyan consulate in Istanbul (Getty images)

Tripoli residents gave conflicting reports of violence on Monday, with some saying they could hear only gunfire in the Libyan capital and others saying warplanes were bombing the city.

"I went to the shop near the house and it was ok. People were buying things. There was no terror," said a Reuters reporter near the central Omar al Mokhtar street and Green Square.

"I did not hear any firing from planes. I did not hear planes. During the day there were some helicopters flying around but I do not hear any guns or shots or anything," he said.

Other residents also said they did not hear of any bombing from aircraft.

"We don't know what is going on, all we can hear are occasional gunshots," one resident who lives near the city's central Green Square told Reuters.

"I just hear gunshots sometimes. I am at home guarding my family because the situation is unstable. No one knows what will happen," another resident said.

But Adel Mohamed Saleh, who called himself a political activist in Tripoli, said the aerial bombing had initially targeted a funeral procession.

"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead," Saleh told al Jazeera television in a live broadcast.

"Our people are dying. It is the policy of scorched earth." he said. "Every 20 minutes they are bombing."

Asked if the attacks were still happening he said: "It is continuing, it is continuing. Anyone who moves, even if they are in their car they will hit you."

The BBC also quoted a witness in Tripoli as saying he could see people being shot by aircraft

There was no independent verification of the reports.

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