UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council approved a sanctions resolution Saturday night, banning arms sales to Libya and freezing Moammar Gadhafi's assets.
The council also voted unanimously to refer the longtime Libyan leader's attempts to put down a mass uprising to the International Criminal Court, The New York Times reported. Observers said this was the first time the council made a unanimous decision to accuse the head of a state belonging to the United Nations of war crimes.
The Libyan delegation to the United Nations supported the sanctions in a letter to the council president, Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil. The delegation announced this week that it does not consider Gadhafi legitimate.
The sanctions also include a ban on international travel for top Libyan leaders. The assets freeze applies to six of Gadhafi's sons and a daughter.
The United States and Switzerland have already moved to block Gadhafi accounts held in their banks. President Obama, in a telephone call Saturday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said Gadhafi's use of force against his own people shows he is no longer a legitimate ruler. according to a summary released by the White House.
The United Nations estimates at least 1,000 people have been killed since mass protests began in Libya. The wave of massive street demonstrations that has hit most Arab countries began in Tunisia, bordering Libya on the west, in January, and spread to Egypt on its eastern border.