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Qaddafi threatens Libya rebels as UN no-fly vote nears

Muammar Qaddafi promised 'no mercy' for defiant Libyans, as the UN Security Council prepares for a vote on a resolution that would allow for aggressive action against his forces.

This image taken on Wednesday, March 16, from amateur video, shows a plume of smoke rising over the skyline in Ajdabiya, eastern Libya, the last major city between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and rebel-held Benghazi, 100 miles to the north of Ajdabiya and shows what appears to be a sustained attack on the city.

Amateur video via APTN/AP

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Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, whose tanks and planes have pounded rebellious cities in recent days, took to state radio this evening to bark threats at the residents of Benghazi while the United Nations Security Council deliberated whether to approve military action against his regime.

The Security Council is set to vote on a resolution this evening that would impose a no-fly zone over Libya but that also has language that goes far beyond that.

The draft, written by the US, France, and Lebanon, calls for “all necessary measures short of an occupation” to be taken to protect Libyan civilians. Some analysts in Washington say that will amount to a “no-drive” zone, in which Qaddafi’s tank movements and troops could be targeted from the air if they make more aggressive moves toward eastern cities.

Rising calls for international air power

In Benghazi, the capital of the uprising against Qaddafi’s 41-year reign, there has been a shift in mood over the past week.

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