Anti-regime forces take west Libyan towns

28 Feb 2011

Benghazi, Libya:  Forces opposed to Muammar Gaddafi took control of several western Libyan towns, an official said on Sunday as the strongman played down such reports after world leaders called on him to quit.

Protest leaders, meanwhile, established a transitional "national council" in mainly eastern cities seized from the Gaddafi regime and called on the army to help them take the capital Tripoli.

The chaos engulfing the oil-rich North African state of 6.3 million has fanned fears that  Gaddafi\\\'s hold on power could descend into civil war as the United Nations said nearly 100,000 people have streamed out of the country.

The UN Security Council imposed a travel and assets ban on Gaddafi\\\'s regime and ordered an investigation into possible crimes against humanity by the Libyan leader, the first time such a decision has been made unanimously.

At least 1,000 people have been killed in a crackdown by security forces over the past two weeks, Liyban and international diplomats have said.

In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was prepared to offer "any kind of assistance" to Libyans seeking to overthrow Gaddafi.

On Saturday, former justice Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who quit Gaddafi\\\'s regime six days ago, told Al Jazeera television a transitional government would be formed to lead the country before an election.

On Sunday, a spokesman announced the creation of a transitional "national council" in cities seized from Gaddafi\\\'s forces.

"The creation of a national council has been announced in all freed cities of Libya," Abdul Hafiz Goqa told a Benghazi news conference.

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2011-03-21 10:43:06

vishnu

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