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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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Report: Hof Visited Syria over Syrian-Israeli Peace

Frederick Hof, the assistant of U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell, visited Damascus lately and discussed with Syrian officials the Syrian-Israeli peace track, An-Nahar reported Wednesday.

Israel's defense minister said Monday that his country would be ready to talk peace with Syria if Damascus was serious about doing so — a sharp departure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's go-slow approach to peacemaking while the Middle East is in turmoil.

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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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Omani Security Forces Disperse Protesters Peacefully

Tanks dispersed demonstrators blocking the port in the industrial city of Sohar and the coast road to Muscat on Tuesday as protests were also reported elsewhere in Oman, Agence France Presse journalists and witnesses said.

The operation went peacefully and Omani forces drove away protesters who had been keeping vigil at the Earth Roundabout, a landmark intersection where at least one protester was killed in clashes on Sunday.

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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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'Political Corpse' Gadhafi Must Quit, Says Kremlin

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is a "living political corpse" who has no place in the civilized world and must quit power, the Interfax news agency quoted a Kremlin source as saying Tuesday.

"We believe that even if Gadhafi now manages to dig himself in, he is a living political corpse who has no place in the modern civilized world," the source said in Russia's first clear call for the Libyan leader to quit.

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