The UN refugee agency on Sunday said a “humanitarian emergency” was underway as thousands fled Libya in a mass exodus of foreigners from the strife-torn country by air, land and sea.
“We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Forces opposed to Kadhafi took control of several western Libyan towns, an official said on Sunday as the strongman played down rebel gains after world leaders called on him to quit.
Protest leaders established a transitional “national council” in several eastern and western cities seized from the Kadhafi regime and called on the army to help them take the capital Tripoli.
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi ordered his forces to crush an uprising that has rocked his 41-year rule, warning armed protesters they will be executed and vowing to fight to the end.
In a defiant and rambling television speech, Kadhafi vowed to remain in Libya as leader, saying he would die as a martyr in the land of his ancestors and fight to the “last drop” of his blood.
At least 4 people were killed in clashes with Libyan security forces, opposition websites said, as the country faced a nationwide “Day of Anger” called by cyber-activists.
The websites monitored in Cyprus and a Libyan rights group based in London said the clashes with demonstrators opposed to the regime of Libya’s leader Kadhafi took place in the eastern town of Al-Baida.
Recent satellite images show that North Korea has completed a launch tower at its new missile base, a key step in efforts to test a missile which could eventually reach the United States, experts say.
An image taken on January 10 of the Tongchang-ri base on the west coast shows a moveable launch pad and swing arms along with the tower.
US President Obama urged autocratic Middle Eastern allies to look to Egypt’s example and encouraged the Iranian people to pursue their quest for democracy.
“You can’t maintain power through coercion,” Obama said in a stark message to Arab allies of the United States as protests raged in Algeria, Bahrain and Yemen following the ouster of presidents in Egypt and Tunisia.
Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in the Algerian city of Annaba, as the opposition announced another major anti-government rally next weekend.
The next anti-government rally will be held February 19, said Mustepha Bouchahi of National Coordination for Change and Democracy, an umbrella group of opposition parties, civil society movements and unofficial unions.
Egyptian President Mubarak came under fresh pressure on Monday to step down as opponents said concessions made in landmark talks were not enough to halt a revolt against his 30-year rule.
Thousands of demonstrators spent Sunday night under blankets and tarpaulins in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square, or Liberation Square, which over two weeks has begun to resemble a tented camp.
Opponents of Egyptian President Mubarak’s embattled regime dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans and renewed their demand that he step down.
In a concession, Vice President Omar Suleiman sat down with the groups, which included the banned Muslim Brotherhood, but the talks produced no immediate breakthrough in the two-week-old standoff.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday urged Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak to do things “as quickly as possible” to smooth the transition to elections.
* Europe wants Mubarak to move forward
* Muslim Brotherhood see no alternative to Mubarak departure
* World leaders say Mubarak transition must start now