Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 31-07-2011

Libyan television transmitters have been destroyed by precision airstrikes in order to silence “terror broadcasts” by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, according to NATO.

Explosions shook the Libyan capital Tripoli overnight on 29-30 July, according to the AFP agency, and state broadcaster Al Jamahiriya reported the Libyan TV headquarters had been subject to bomb damage.

“NATO conducted a precision air strike that disabled three ground-based Libyan state TV satellite transmission dishes in Tripoli … with the intent of degrading Gaddafi’s use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them,” said a statement from NATO.

Earlier this month, a court in Cairo ordered the Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat to cease transmission of 14 Libyan state television channels. The judgement followed lawsuits filed by Libyan nationals and Egyptian lawyers who said that Muammar Gaddafi had exploited the channels to incite hate and violence against Libya’s rebel forces.

The Libyan leader's government spread "false information about the revolution in Libya against his rule" via the channels involved, said lawyers who brought the case to court, according to MENA.

Libya’s opposition party, the National Transitional Council (NTC), based in the eastern city of Benghazi, had repeatedly requested that Nilesat take the Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting channels off air. Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the NTC has said the regime had “without a doubt used media as a weapon, as a bullet” to spread its propaganda