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ICC Targets Gadhafi for Crimes against Humanity Amid Huge Evacuation Operations

Moammar Gadhafi and key aides will be probed over allegations they committed crimes against humanity while fending off the uprising in Libya, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor said Thursday.

"We have identified some individuals with de facto or formal authority, who have authority over the security forces," that have clamped down on a rebellion that started on February 15, Luis Moreno-Ocampo told journalists in The Hague.

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Arab League Says May Back Libya No-Fly Zone, Clinton Says U.S. 'Long Way' from Such Step

The Arab League said Wednesday it would consider backing a no-fly zone over Libya to end its crackdown on anti-regime rebels, but ruled out supporting any direct foreign military intervention.

"The Arab countries cannot remain with their arms folded when the blood of the brotherly Libyan people is being shed," the league said in a resolution after a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo.

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Libyan Rebels Repel Deadly Gadhafi Offensive, Call for U.N. Airstrikes

Libyan rebels fought intense battles to repel Moammar Gadhafi's forces from the key eastern oil port of Brega Wednesday as the regime's biggest counter-offensive yet left at least 10 people dead.

Opposition fighters said they had finally pushed Gadhafi's men out of the town on the Mediterranean coast after a day of chaotic clashes, even as a government fighter jet fired two missiles near their victory celebrations.

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Gadhafi Warns West of 'Worse than Iraq' Bloodbath if Libya Invaded

Moammar Gadhafi warned the West on Wednesday against intervening to support the rebellion against him, saying that would unleash a "very bloody war" in which "thousands of Libyans would die."

Speaking live on state television, Gadhafi again blamed al-Qaida for the challenge to his 41-year iron-fisted rule, saying the objective was to control Libya's land and oil and promising to fight to the last man and woman.

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6,000 Dead since Start of Libya Unrest, Says Rights Group

At least 6,000 people have died since the start of the revolt against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime two weeks ago, a spokesman for the Libyan Human Rights League said Wednesday.

"Victims in the whole country were 6,000," Ali Zeidan told reporters in Paris, adding that this included 3,000 in the capital Tripoli, 2,000 in the rebel-held second city Benghazi and 1,000 in other cities.

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U.S. Warships Headed to Libya Enter Suez Canal

Two U.S. warships carrying marines and equipment entered the Suez Canal on Wednesday en route to Libya, as the United States and Europe piled pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"The USS Kearsarge and the USS Ponce entered the Suez Canal from the southern entrance at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) and are making their way to the Mediterranean Sea," a canal authority official said.

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U.N. Suspends Libya from Human Rights Council

The United Nations on Tuesday suspended Libya from its main human rights body over Moammar Gadhafi's crackdown on protests as the Security Council warned of new action against his regime.

Britain's U.N. envoy said the council would take "whatever measures we consider necessary to respond to events on the ground."

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West Argues Over No-Fly Zone in Libya

U.S. defense leaders played down the likelihood of imposing a no-fly zone on Libya, urging a cautious approach to any military action against Moammer Gadhafi's forces.

The U.S. military's top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said on Tuesday a no-fly zone would be "extraordinarily complex" to carry out while a top general warned there should be "no illusions" about what it would take to shut down the Libyan leader's air force.

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U.S. General Says Libya No-Fly Zone Would Require Bombing Raids

Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya would first require bombing the north African nation's air defense systems, top U.S. commander General James Mattis warned Tuesday.

A no-fly zone would require removing "the air defense capability first," Mattis, the head of Central Command, told a Senate hearing.

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EU Calls Crisis Summit on Libyan, Arab Turmoil

The European Union on Tuesday called a crisis summit of its 27 leaders next week to seek a joint response in facing the turmoil both in Libya and in Arab states on Europe's southern flank.

"In light of developments in the EU's southern neighborhood, and especially in Libya, I convened an extraordinary European Council (or summit) on 11/03," EU president Herman Van Rompuy said Tuesday on his Twitter webpage.

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