A NATO aircraft destroyed guard towers at Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli , and later staged a rare daytime air strike on the Libyan capital, stepping up pressure on him to quit, a NATO official said, reported Reuters on Saturday.

RAF Typhoons, along with other NATO aircraft, last night used precision-guided weapons to bring down guard towers along the walls of Colonel Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziyah complex in the centre of Tripoli, Major General John Lorimer, chief British military spokesman, said in a statement.

Last night's action sends a powerful message to the regime's leadership and to those involved in delivering Colonel Gaddafi's attacks on civilians that that they are no longer hidden away from the Libyan people behind high walls, he added.

On the fifth consecutive night of attack by Nato, a day time strike sent plumes of smoke skywards from Gaddafi's compound area. The target was a vehicle storage compound 600 to 800 meters (1,980-2,640 feet) to the east of Gaddafi's so-called 'tent private area'. It is not part of the main Gaddafi complex, a NATO military spokes person said.

The massive compound has not just been his home, but is also a major military barracks and headquarters, and lies at the heart of his network of secret police and intelligence agencies, Lorimer said. Previous NATO attacks have hit command and control and other military facilities within the complex, the Reuters report said.

Following the Friday night strikes, the Libyan state broadcaster said NATO raids also caused human and material damage near Mizda, to the south.