The United Nations Security Council has voted in favour of a no-fly zone over Libya.
The council also authorised all necessary measures to protect civilians from attacks by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
The US, UK, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal voted to approve the resolution, while China, Russia, Brazil, Germany and India abstained.
Celebratory gunfire and horns were heard in Benghazi and Tobruk immediately after the vote.
Sky News correspondent Emma Hurd, in Tobruk, said: "Clearly everybody in this town and further to the west in Benghazi have been watching their televisions waiting for the news from the UN in New York and this is exactly what they wanted to hear.
"They now have that no-fly zone resolution and also the pledge of all necessary means to protect civilians."
She added that could involve air strikes against government forces on the ground
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