Shortly after 2am local time there were three loud explosions followed a few minutes later by two more blasts.
Windows in the hotel where international journalists are staying shook from the blasts.
The intended target or targets of the airstrikes is not yet clear, although early reports suggested the compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was targeted.
However Moussa Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman, told Sky News that he did not believe the Gaddafi’s compound had been hit.
“The strikes were in the centre of the city. They were administration buildings and official government buildings.” he said.
“These targets are not military. Why are they targeting them?” (read more)