Libya Britons urged to head to ship

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British nationals in Libya were urged to make their way to Benghazi to meet HMS York

British nationals still in Libya have been urged to make their way to Benghazi to meet HMS York.

The Royal Navy destroyer is on its way to the second city to pick up any remaining UK citizens who wish to leave.

Its deployment to Benghazi comes as Britain and its allies were contingency planning for possible military intervention in Libya, including imposing a no-fly zone over the country.

The National Security Council was meeting to discuss the situation, which was also considered at Cabinet.

One option would be to base Typhoon jets at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus if a no-fly zone is to be imposed.

Prime Minister David Cameron and other Western leaders are urging defiant Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to step down immediately.

After the evacuation of hundreds of Britons from Libya over the past week, officials said there was only a “very small” number left who wanted to depart.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “HMS York is on her way to Benghazi to pick up any remaining British nationals who wish to leave. The FCO is asking anyone who is able safely to get to Benghazi to do so now. There is a rapid deployment team on board to provide consular assistance.”

Mr Cameron revealed that he had ordered Government officials to draw up plans with UK allies for a no-fly zone over Libya. He also suggested that anti-regime forces could be armed to help oust Col Gaddafi.

In an interview with the BBC, Col Gaddafi insisted his people “loved” him. Asked why so many appeared to be rebelling, he blamed al Qaida fighters.

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