US President Barack Obama has denounced the violent crackdown by the Libyan authorities on peaceful protesters as “outrageous and unacceptable”.
Mr Obama said the world had to speak with “one voice”, and that the US was drawing up a range of options for action in consultation with its allies.
The Libyan government would be held accountable for its actions, he added.
His comments came as Muammar Gaddafi battled to keep control of western Libya, including the capital, Tripoli.
Opposition protesters – supported by many defecting government troops – have consolidated their control of the east of the country.