Colonel Gaddafi has urged his supporters to attack the "cockroaches" and "rats" protesting against his rule. Anyone who took up arms against Libya would be executed, he warned.
But the regime "is down to a real inner core", reports Jon Leyne, as senior generals turn against the leadership.
Former UN diplomat Sir Jeremy Greenstock said that Gaddafi was clearly "in his death throes" and that the UN should use non-military means to speed up the collapse of the regime.
But former foreign secretary Lord Owen cautioned that "words are not much good against Colonel Gaddafi".
He said that the west had to be prepared to act militarily to prevent Gaddafi from "wreaking havoc on his own people" using chemical or biological weapons.
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