Gadhafi Forces Barrel Into Main Rebel Base

Gunfire, Explosions Heard In Tripoli

Explosions and anti-aircraft fire thundered in the skies above Tripoli early Sunday, but it was not clear whether they resulted from another round of cruise missile attacks by allies determined to stop Moammar Gadhafi's offensive against Libyan opposition forces.

CNN's Nic Robertson witnessed the development a few hours after nearly 1,000 people gathered at Gadhafi's palace in the capital. The crowd chanted, waved flags and shot off fireworks in support of the government.

A defiant Gadhafi said Libya will fight back against undeserved "naked aggression." His military claimed nearly 50 people, including, women, children and clerics, were killed in Saturday evening's attacks. There was no independent confirmation of that statement.

American, French and British military forces, convinced that Gadhafi was not adhering to a United Nations-mandated cease-fire, hammered Libyan military positions with missiles and fighter jets in the first phase of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.

An eyewitness in Tripoli reported seeing signs of gunfire rising Sunday morning from the direction of nearby Mitiga Airport. The anti-Gadhafi activist said she heard "continuous gunshots" and at least two loud explosions. It was not clear if the airport was also being used as a military installation.

The eyewitness, who was not identified for security reasons, said she did not hear the sound of flying aircraft.