The Security Council voted Tuesday to punish Libya for failing to surrender suspects in the terrorist bombings of Pan Am Flight 103 and a French airliner by imposing air and arms embargoes.
The Security Council vote came hours after Britain said Libya was preventing foreigners from leaving the country - an accusation Libya denied. But a Western diplomatic source in Cairo told The Associated Press the restrictions on exit visas for foreigners began about a week ago.It was only the second time - the first followed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait - that the Security Council has imposed sanctions on a single country for flouting its demands on peace and security.
Tuesday's vote in the 15-member council was 10 in favor, none opposed and five abstentions - including China, which, as a permanent Security Council member, could have vetoed the sanctions.
The sanctions, which carry the threat of the use of military force, take effect April 15.
The resolution includes a ban on flights to or from Libya and calls for a significant reduction in the number of Libyan diplomats in U.N. member countries. It also bans arms and aircraft sales to Libya.
Before the vote, Libyan Ambassador Ali Elhouderi told the council his government feared sanctions would open the way for military attacks against Libyan cities like the deadly U.S. air strikes in 1986.
Libya has refused to surrender the two Libyan suspects in the bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 and four suspects in the bombing of a French airliner a year later.
Britain and the United States have indicted the two Libyans in the bombing of Flight 103, that killed 270 people. France seeks the four Libyans in the bombing of a French UTA airliner over Niger, in which 171 people died.
Libya says all six suspects are not guilty and would not get a fair trial in the West.