TRIPOLI, Libya â€” U.S., French and British forces blasted Libyan air defenses and ground forces, drawing intense volleys of tracer and antiaircraft fire over Tripoli on Sunday on the second day of a military campaign that will severely test Moammar Gadhafiâ€™s powers of survival.
Late Sunday, smoke billowed from Gadhafiâ€™s massive Bab Azizia residential compound shortly after a massive, earth-shaking explosion. Rounds of antiaircraft and tracer fire lit up the night for the third time in less than 24 hours.
Immediately afterward, the streets of the capital erupted with car horns and chanting and celebratory gunfire in a show of support for Gadhafi, whose armed loyalists retain a tight grip on the streets.
A Libyan military official announced a 9 p.m. cease-fire by the countryâ€™s armed forces, but U.S. officials scoffed at the declaration.
â€œOur view at this point is that it isnâ€™t true or itâ€™s been immediately violated,â€ said national security adviser Tom Donilon, briefing reporters in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night. â€œSo weâ€™ll continue to monitor Gadhafiâ€™s actions, not just his words.â€