) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi refused to surrender despite the fourth day of powerful airstrikes launched on his forces by Western warplanes on Wednesday, according to reports.

A gun was handed over to a Libyan boy during a rally in support of the allied air campaigns against the troops of Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi, Libya on Wednesday.

Gaddafi's artillery and tanks were intercepted by international forces as the leader called for his troops to

continue besieging rebel-held Libyan cities of Misrata and Ajdabiya

on Wednesday,

The Associated Press


The Western powers have started targeting Gadhafi's forces as well as their ammunition, artillery, missile sites and other supplies, American Rear Admiral Gerard Hueber told reporters from the U.S. command ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

At first, the international allied forces wanted to take out Libyan air defenses and impose a no-fly zone over Benghazi, but have now decided to start targeting tanks and troops on the ground as Gadhafi continues to call on his supporters to attack rebels.

"Some of those cities still have tanks advancing on them to attack the Libyan people," U.S. Rear Admiral Peg Klein said,


reported. "We are authorized, and the president made the nexus between the Security Council resolution and what he considers our legal mandate to attack those tanks. So that is the type of target that our strike aircraft will go at."

Gadhafi referred to the Western powers as "a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history" on Wednesday, according to



"We will not surrender," Gadhafi told his supporters at his Tripoli compound.

Gadhafi's forces were no longer advancing on the Benghazi on Wednesday, after coalition forces moved in.

Libyan government troops continued to besiege Misrata and tried to block rebel fighters as they moved toward Ajdabiya to provide support to their fellow opposition troops,



Gadhafi's troops attacked a few hundred rebels with heavy artillery on the outskirts of Ajdabiya Wednesday. Civilians were fleeing the rebel-held city to escape the violence.

"The pro-Gadhafi forces are just shooting everywhere. There is no electricity, the center of the city has been totally destroyed, even the hospital has been hit," 28-year-old Hafez Boughara said, the


reported, as he fled the city.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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