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US to impose 'unilateral and multilateral' sanctions against Libya as unrest continues

Earlier, embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appeared defiant on state television.

Protesters in Benghazi, Libya on Friday
Protesters in Benghazi, Libya on Friday
Image: Hussein Malla/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED STATES is to impose sanctions against Libya in response to the ongoing violence and political unrest in the country.

The White House said tonight that as well as sanctions they were suspending their embassy service in Tripoli.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule was ”neither tenable nor acceptable.”

Earlier, Gaddafi appeared on state television in the capital Tripoli’s Green Square where he pledged to die in Libya and continue to fight and defeat the opposition uprisings.

Reuters reports that the popular uprising is closing in on Gaddafi’s power base in the capital with reports of government forces shooting dead at least two protesters today.

Some estimate that more than 1,000 people have died in the demonstrations in Libya that have so far lasted 11 days.

The country’s second city of Benghazi is said to be under the control of rebel forces with other reports saying that the third city of Misrata, 200 kilometres east of Tripoli, is also under the control of the opposition.

The UN Human Rights Council earlier voted unanimously to recommend that Libya be suspended from the body and that allegations of human rights abuses be investigated, AFP reports.

International efforts are continuing to evacuate foreign nationals from Libya, but The Wall Street Journal reports that these efforts are being hampered by weather conditions.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs say they are continuing to work to aid Irish citizens who wish to leave the country.

Read: Ten things you should know about Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi >

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Hugh O'Connell

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