UN orders Libya abuse investigation

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Diplomats have unanimously condemned Libya, ordered a probe into possible crimes against humanity for Moammar Gadhafi's crackdown on protesters and recommended that Libya be suspended from the U.N.'s top human rights body.

The action Friday at an emergency session of the U.N. Human Rights Council was matched by the dramatic decision of all Libyan diplomats at the United Nations in Geneva to publicly defect to the opposition — and the swelling rebellion of more Libyan diplomats around the globe.

The rapid series of blows to Gadhafi's flailing regime come amid mounting international pressure for him to relinquish power after four decades of iron-fisted rule.

The U.N.'s top human rights official warned that mass killings in Libya, possibly of thousands, require the world to "step in vigorously" and immediately end brutal reprisals against anti-government protesters in the North African country.

The 47-nation Human Rights Council said it "strongly condemns the recent gross and systematic human rights violations commited in Libya."

Council members unanimously slammed Gadhafi's regime for its "indiscriminate armed attacks against civilians, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention and torture of peaceful demonstrators, some of which may also amount to crimes against humanity."

They called for Libya's ouster from the council — an unprecedented move against one of its own members. The resolution also urged the 192-nation U.N. General Assembly to suspend Libya from the rights council that it had joined only last May in one of a series of attempts at political rehabilitation on the world stage.

It also said the council would urgently create a U.N.-led probe into possible crimes against humanity in Libya.

Elsewhere in Europe, more Libyan officials rejected Gadhafi's regime.

Libya's ambassador to Portugal told The Associated Press he was quitting over Tripoli's violent crackdown. Ambassador Ali Ibrahim Emdored said he resigned "due to the killing of my people ... by this fascist regime."

Libya's top diplomat in Sweden joined the rebellion against Gadhafi, telling AP he could not accept the "massacre against my own people." Abdelmagid Buzrigh, the charge d'affaires at the Libyan Embassy in Stockholm, said, however, he would not step down because he felt he was serving everyday Libyans.