India begins evacuation of nationals from Libya

Al Jazeera said within Libya, demonstrations were gaining support, and footage believed to be filmed yesterdayappeared to show soldiers in uniform joining the protesters.

It said following on the footsteps of the armycommanders in the east, several military officials in the westwere also beginning to turn against Gaddafi.

However, the protesters are worried over the presenceof the Khamis Brigade, a special forces brigade loyal to theGaddafi family that is equipped with sophisticated weaponry,and is still fighting anti-government forces.

Several countries, including India, the US, Britain,and other European nations are evacuating their citizens inthousands from the chaos-hit country.

Fighting for control was on in several other cities,with reports from the town of Tajoura saying that liveammunition was being used against anti-government protesters.

Several eastern cities have already fallen to theopposition, though Gaddafi has struggled hard to keep his holdover Tripoli.

The thousands of protesters, who defied the clampdownto take to the streets after the Friday prayers met with heavygunfire and suffered several casualties in the capital.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, asked the powerfulSecurity Council to take "concrete action" against Gaddafi''sregime to stop the bloody crackdown against protesters,warning that any delay would add to the death toll which hasalready crossed 1,000.

"It is time for the Security Council to considerconcrete action," he said in his address to the 15-memberbody, including India, which held its second meeting on Libyain less than a week.

In New York, India and 14 other members of the Councilagreed to hold yet another meeting to consider sanctionsagainst the Gaddafi regime.

The UNSC meeting would consider a draft resolution,"including specific targeted measures aimed at putting an endto violence, helping achieve a peaceful solution to thecurrent crisis, ensuring accountability and respecting thewill of the Libyan people," its President for this month,Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said.

Earlier, at a hastily called news conference at theUN, Libyan deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi describedGaddafi as a "madman" and warned that thousands would die inTripoli because the Libyan leader would never flee and fightto the end.

Meanwhile, the 27-nation European Union has reachedconsensus on imposing tough sanctions against Libya and isexpected to strike an agreement in this regard next week.

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva unanimouslypassed a resolution recommending suspension of Libya from thebody and decided to conduct an independent probe intoviolations by the Gaddafi regime.

The 47-nation body''s recommendation to suspend Libyaneeds to be approved by a two-thirds majority at the192-member United Nations General Assembly in New York. PTIKIM VMN

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