17 Mar '11, 11pm

UN votes to allow Libya air strikes

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council voted Thursday to allow air strikes to halt Muammar al-Gaddafi's offensive against embattled rebel forces in Libya, with the first bombing raids expected shortly. The resolution permits "all necessary measures" to protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Gaddafi's military. The vote passed 10-0 with five abstentions in the 15 member council. Permanent members China and Russia were among those abstaining, but did not use their veto power. Diplomats have indicated that air strikes from a coalition led by Britain, France and the United States could be imminent as Gaddafi's troops close in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. However, the resolution rules out sending foreign ground troops. The Libyan leader said earlier Thursday he would take the town and "chase the traitors." Addressing the Security Council, French Foreign Mini...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/111...

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