Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday a U.N. resolution authorizing military action in Libya resembled "mediaeval calls for crusades" after Western forces launched a second wave of air strikes.

As diplomatic tempers over the campaign flared, officials in Tripoli said a missile intended to kill Muammar Gaddafi had destroyed a building in his fortified compound, which was heavily bombed in 1986 by the Reagan administration.

"It was a barbaric bombing," said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, showing pieces of shrapnel that he said came from the missile. "This contradicts American and Western (statements) ... that it is not their target to attack this place."

There was no comment on the strike from attacking forces.

In an appearance on Libyan television on Sunday, Gaddafi promised his enemies a "long war" after the U.N.-authorized intervention in the uprising against his 41-year rule of this oil producing north African desert state.

"The resolution is defective and flawed," said Russia's Putin, whose country did not use its power to veto the resolution at the United Nations. "It allows everything. It resembles mediaeval calls for crusades," Putin added.

China's official newspapers on Monday stepped up Beijing's opposition to air attacks on Libya, accusing nations backing the strikes of breaking international rules and courting new turmoil in the Middle East. China also did not veto the U.N. resolution.

Libyan rebels welcomed the second wave of attacks.

"The committee rejects foreign troops on the ground but we encourage the bombardment of Gaddafi's army," Ahmed El-Hasi, a spokesman for the February 17 opposition coalition, said in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi where the uprising began.

He said rebels coordinated with international powers on air strikes. "There is a connection between us. One, to pinpoint the position of Gaddafi's troops, and two, to pinpoint the position of our fighters so they don't get hit with bombardments."

Accounts from the rebel-held western city of Mistrata appeared to show Gaddafi forces, in a change of tactics forced on them by air attacks, were trying to mingle with the civilian population, making it hard to target them from the air. Rebels said women and children were being used as "human shields."


The first strikes on Saturday halted the advance of Gaddafi forces on Benghazi and targeted Libya's air defenses in order to let Western warplanes patrol the skies of Libya.

The second wave of Western air strikes also hit Gaddafi's troops around Ajdabiyah, a strategic town in the barren, scrub of east Libya that rebels aim to retake and where their fighters said they need more help to take the battle to the enemy.

"If we don't get more help from the West, Gaddafi's forces will eat us alive," rebel fighter Nouh Musmari told Reuters.

The U.N.-mandated intervention to protect civilians caught up in a one-month-old revolt against Gaddafi also drew criticism from Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who questioned the need for a heavy bombardment, which he said had killed many civilians.

Moussa said on Monday however that the League respected the U.N. resolution while stressing the need to protect civilians.