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WORLD: New round of strikes hits Tripoli outskirts

New round of strikes hits Tripoli outskirts

TRIPOLI, Libya -- NATO airstrikes rattled the Libyan capital Thursday with clusters of bombing runs believed to have targeted the outskirts of Tripoli.

At first, the intensity of the attacks suggested a return to the heavy NATO bombardment that hit military installations across the capital on Tuesday and flattened major buildings in leader Moammar Gadhafi's sprawling compound in the center of the city.

By nightfall Thursday, a total of 14 air attacks had been carried out, considerably fewer than Tuesday. There were eight explosions in a first series of strikes on Thursday and hours later, the sound of six more airstrikes boomed in the distance. Government officials did not say what had been targeted Thursday.

Syrian unrest turns to chaos

GUVECCI, Turkey -- Syrian policemen turned their guns on each other, soldiers shed their uniforms rather than obey orders to fire on protesters, and three young men who tried to escape were beheaded by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

As more than 2,400 Syrians streamed across the open Turkish borders on Thursday ahead of tanks and troops who surrounded their hometown, they brought with them the first accounts of a week of revolt, mutiny and mayhem in Jisra al-Shughour. The streets were deserted, leaving no resistance against a regime equipped for all-out battle.

Even safe in Turkish camps 12 miles away, the Syrians said they feared the authoritarian government's reach and refused to allow their full names to be used.

A young man who identified himself as Rami said the Syrian reinforcements were mobilized in response to a mutiny among police and soldiers, sharply divided over how to disperse the protesters.

Volcanic ash cancels flights

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Ash from a Chilean volcano fell across a wide swath of South America on Thursday, forcing cancellation of most flights across the southern half of the continent and grounding the presidents of Argentina and Uruguay.

The ash dusted streets in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo as well as Argentina's Buenos Aires, roughly 850 miles northeast of the Cordon Caulle volcano that began erupting through a gash in the earth on Saturday.