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Blast Rocks Benghazi, Explosions In Tripoli

Libyan rebels blame agents of Muammar Qaddafi for the blast in Benghazi.
A blast has rocked the rebel-controlled Libyan city of Benghazi early today, while at least three NATO strikes hit targets in the capital Tripoli.

No one was injured in the blast in Benghazi where the rebels who control the east of the country have set up their de-facto capital. The rebels blamed the explosion on agents of Muammar Qaddafi.

The rebels have been fighting to overthrow Qaddafi's regime since mid-February, but the conflict is deadlocked.

On June 1, NATO announced it had extended its UN-mandated air campaign in Libya for a further 90 days.

Later on the same day, Libya's oil minister became the latest senior official to defect from Qaddafi's regime.

Speaking at a press conference in Rome, Shukri Ghanem said he had decided to leave his job because of the "unbearable" violence in Libya.

compiled from agency reports