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Ashdown: Libya no-fly zone would need UN backing

Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader who also served as high representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, has said a UN Security Council resolution would be needed before a no-fly zone could be imposed on Libya.

"At the start of the Bosnian war, very few of us were calling for intervention. By the end of the Bosnian war, nobody was opposed to intervention, because of what happened. And therefore making contingencies for a no-fly zone is absolutely right, absolutely proper. That doesn't mean to say it's right now," he told the Today programme's James Naughtie. "In my view, this can't be done without a UN Security Council resolution."

And he added that support for military action had to be obtained from a wider "circle" than the West and must include the Arab world and Russia. "You are dealing with a dynamic situation here, not a static one, but it's the politics you've got to watch," he said.

Pro-Gaddafi forces in Libya have taken control of the town of al Brayqa from opposition forces and are launching an attack on north eastern town of Ajdabiya, according to the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson, who is in Ajdabiya. He also told the BBC that an ammunition dump in Ajdabiya had been bombed by a jet.

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