Stop this unacceptable bloodshed in Libya

Washington: Outraged at the use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Libya to stop this "unacceptable "bloodshed.

"The government of Libya has a responsibility to respect the universal rights of the people, including the right to free expression and assembly. Now is the time to stop this unacceptable bloodshed", Clinton said in a statement.

Noting that the world is watching the situation in Libya with alarm, Clinton said US joins the international community in strongly condemning the violence in Libya.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been lost, and with their loved ones", she said.

"We are working urgently with friends and partners around the world to convey this message to the Libyan government", Clinton said.

US President Barack Obama too has been kept abreast of the developments in Libya where reports suggests that the government is using air assets against peaceful protestors killing more than 200 people according to an unofficial estimates.

"We are considering all appropriate actions", a US official said without specifying the measures it is contemplating with regard to Libya.

"We are analyzing the speech of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi to see what possibilities it contains for meaningful reform", the official said referring to the speech given by the Libyan leader, adding that US will seek clarification from senior Libyan officials in this regard.

"We continue to raise with them the need to avoid violence against peaceful protesters and respect universal rights", the official said.

With the situation in Libya highly volatile, US has ordered all non-essential diplomatic staff to leave the country and warned US nationals to avoid travel to the north African country as anti-government protests raged.

Amid reports of hundreds of protesters killed, the US State Department`s travel warning urged Americans not to visit Libya while there was a continued threat of violence in the country.

"US citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer all travel to Libya. US citizens in Libya should minimize overall travel in-country, exercise extreme caution when traveling, and limit all travel after dark", it said.

US citizens not departing Libya should make preparations to shelter in place", the State Department`s travel warning said.