MISRATA (AFP/REUTERS) - Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi on Tuesday attacked the besieged citys port, wounding African refugees and forcing a humanitarian ship to stay out to sea, an AFP journalist said. Several Grad rockets hit the port 12 kilometres (seven miles) east of the city and an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) ship come to rescue refugees stood offshore as a security precaution. Doctor Khalid Abu Falra at the citys main hospital said several refugees were wounded by the bombardment at around 1330 GMT, when journalists counted around a dozen blasts. There may be deathswe have no details for the moment, Abu Falra added. Warplanes from NATO were overflying the city of Misrata, where explosions were also heard after a 24-hour period of relative calm. Witnesses said the aircraft launched at least one ground strike. NATO asked that the IOM boat leave the port, said a rebel source, adding that around 20 vehicles containing Gaddafi loyalists were approaching. Fighting had waned earlier in Misrata, where rebels said they had ejected forces loyal to the Libyan strongman to the citys outskirts. Misrata remains besieged by Gaddafis troops to the east, south and west, with its only access to the outside world by sea. The airport, which has been badly damaged, is in the hands of regime forces, according to the rebels. Tuesdays Grad attack came as a minibus containing seven Western journalists and four Libyan escorts was at the port, and three nearby blasts caused them to dive for cover beneath the vehicle. Russian PM Vladimir Putin sharply criticised the Western coalition attacking Libya on Tuesday, saying it had neither a right nor a mandate to kill Muammar Gaddafi. Putin said the coalition had gone beyond the bounds of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing intervention to protect civilians and suggested Gaddafis actions did not justify foreign interference, let alone attempts to remove him. They said they didnt want to kill Gaddafi. Now some officials say, yes, we are trying to kill Gaddafi, Putin said on a visit to Denmark. Who permitted this, was there any trial? Who took on the right to execute this man, no matter who he is? Putin spoke as Britain and the US discussed stepping up military pressure on Gaddafi, who has survived more than a month of NATO air strikes. The countrys whole infrastructure is being destroyed, and in essence one of the warring sides is attacking under the cover of aircraft, Putin said at a news conference after talks with his Danish counterpart Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. When the entire so-called civilized community falls upon a small country with all its might, destroys infrastructure created over generationsI dont know, is that good or not? Putin said. I dont like it. Shortly after Putin spoke, Libyan state news agency Jana said Libya had urged Russia to call an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Western aggression. In Moscow, Russias Foreign Ministry said nobody was available to comment on the report. Putin called Gaddafis Libya crooked but said that did not justify intervention. Look at a map of this region of the world. ... What, is it full of Danish-style democracies? No, there are monarchical states all around. This overall answers to the mentality of the population and the practices that developed there, he said. Putin has often criticized foreign intervention in the affairs of sovereign states. He said the resolution authorizing intervention in Libya was a call for everyone to come and do whatever they want. Why strike palaces? What, are they exterminating mice this way? Putin said. Surely people are being killed in these strikesGaddafi is not there, he slipped away long ago, but peaceful civilians are dying. Permanent U.N. Security Council member Russia abstained from the U.N. vote last month. Putin likened it at the time to a medieval call for crusades, a remark that suggested he might have ordered a veto had he still been president. Russias president is head of state and sets foreign policy, while the prime minister manages the economy. Putin steered his protege Dmitry Medvedev into the presidency in 2008 but has said he may try to return to the Kremlin himself in a 2012 vote. The commander of the NATO operation, Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said the attack on a building in Gaddafis compound on Monday was on communications facilities and the Libyan leader was not there at the time. This is a military compound, in which there are various houses and residences, but also technical command and control nodes throughout, Bouchard told reporters in Brussels. He was not in the room but the point is command and control, not individuals, he said.