Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi are making a stand at his fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound in the centre of Tripoli. Here are some details about the area:
* Bab al-Aziziya means Splendid Gate and the compound houses Gaddafi’s private quarters as well as a military barracks and other installations.
* According to rebel military official Major General Umar al-Hariri, the barracks are linked to underground tunnels up to 30 km (20 miles) long, some of which lead to the sea.
* The six sq km base is located south of Tripoli at the northern end of Airport Highway.
* The compound has facilities for banquets and other public events but it is not lavish.
* The compound was the target of a 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya. U.S. President Ronald Reagan said it was in retaliation for what he called Libyan complicity in the bombing of a Berlin night club.
* After the 1986 bombing, a sculpture was created depicting a hand crushing a fighter aircraft. Gaddafi used the backdrop in March in a televsion broadcast to rally supporters.
* At the beginning of the revolt in March, thousands of Libyans packed into the heavily fortified compound to form a “human shield” against possible air strikes by allied forces.
* It was also bombed by NATO aircraft and in June guard towers along the walls were brought down. Gaddafi was unhurt in a NATO airstrike on his compound in April when three people were killed, in what a government spokesman said was an assassination attempt on the Libyan leader.