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Heavy Fighting In Misurata And Libyan Mountains

Libya's rebel-held city of Misurata won no respite from two months of bitter siege as Muammar Qaddafi's forces bombarded the city and battled rebel fighters, despite pulling out of the city center.

Qaddafi's forces were also pounding Berber towns in Libya's Western Mountains with artillery, rebels and refugees said, in a remote region far from the view of international media.

Italy said its warplanes would join the British and French bombing of Libyan targets for the first time as NATO flattened a building inside Qaddafi's Tripoli compound, in what his officials said was a failed attempt on the Libyan leader's life.

Late on April 25, the "crusader aggressors" bombed civilian and military sites in Bir al Ghanam, 100 kilometers south of Tripoli, and the Ayn Zara area of the capital, causing casualties, Libyan television said, without giving details. A Reuters correspondent heard explosions in Tripoli.

The report said foreign ships had also attacked and severed the al-Alyaf cable off Libya's coast, cutting communications to the towns of Sirte, Ras Lanuf, and Brega.

But more than a month of air strikes did not appear to be tipping the balance decisively in a conflict increasingly described as a stalemate.

Nearly 60 people had been killed in clashes in Misurata in the last three days, residents told Reuters by phone.