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NATO Bombs Libyan Ships To Foil Attacks On Civilians

Fire engulfs a boat in Tripoli after NATO aircraft bombed eight vessels on May 20, 2011. This photo was taken during a Libyan government guided tour. MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

Fire engulfs a boat in Tripoli after NATO aircraft bombed eight vessels on May 20, 2011. This photo was taken during a Libyan government guided tour.

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

NATO says it fired on eight warships used by forces loyal to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi to stop further attacks on civilians. Libyan warships were also laying mines in the water near Misrata, according to CNN. Misrata is a besieged city whose civilians are slowly getting humanitarian aid by sea.

The Sydney Morning Herald says ships were struck in Tripoli, Sirte and Al Kuhms, because pro-Gadhafi forces were increasingly using them to hit civilians.

The Telegraph, which has video, says the ships hit in Tripoli were very close to two big oil tankers, and credited 'exceptionally precise targeting' for avoiding a huge catastrophe that could have badly damaged the port and the Libyan capital.

The attacks come as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Gadhafi's wife and daughter fled Libya for neighboring Tunisia, in an interview with CBS. She says the west is seeing progress in Libya.