Libya accused Nato of trying to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi today after it blitzed his Bab al-Azizia complex in Tripoli, destroying offices and a library.
Libyan officials said that three people were killed and 45 people wounded in the air strike on Monday, 15 of them seriously.
Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said it was an attempt to assassinate "the leader and unifying figure of this country," and an act "worthy of the mafia, of gangs, but not of governments.
"How is this act of terrorism protecting civilians in Libya? How is this act of terrorism helping establish peace in Libya?" Mr Ibrahim asked.
"Targeting political leaders will only help make the situation worse."
The attack took place just hours after a Republican member of the US Senate armed services committee, Lindsey Graham, said Nato should "cut the head of the snake off."
The United States denied that the strike was intended to kill Colonel Gaddafi.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "The goal of the mission is clear: protect the civilian population, enforce the no-fly zone, enforce the arms embargo."
Mr Carney said that while it was up to Nato to select targets for air strikes it was "certainly not the policy of the coalition, of this administration, to decapitate, if you will, or to effect regime change in Libya by force."
Nato described Monday's attack on the Bab al-Azizia compound as a strike on a communications headquarters "that was used to co-ordinate attacks against civilians."
Meanwhile Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that Italy's air force would take part in "targeted action" in Libya, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow would not back a new UN security council resolution on Libya if it calls for further foreign intervention.
nThe United Nations World Food Programme announced at the weekend that it has delivered more than 1,100 metric tons of food, three ambulances, medical supplies and other relief items to the town of Misrata so far this month.
It said that "local partners on the ground such as the Libyan Red Crescent" are distributing the food mainly to hospitals and to the most vulnerable civilians in the city, where the Libyan army has suspended operations.
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