New York, NY (BBN)– Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi’s actions against protestors as possible crimes against humanity, calling for the punishment of those who “brutally shed” the blood of innocents.

“I have strongly condemned, again and again, what he has done. It is totally unacceptable,” Mr. Ban told reporters after rushing back early from a trip to Los Angeles to confer with his senior advisers on the Libyan crisis at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“I am sure that the international community are considering a broad range of options,” he said, referring to his own extensive appeal he made to the Libyan leader in a long telephone call on Monday to end violence immediately. “He has not heeded to that… the Government of Libya must meet its responsibility to protect its people…

“At this critical juncture, it is imperative that the international community maintain its unity and act together to ensure a prompt and peaceful transition.”

Summarizing his position on the violence, which according to some media reports has claimed over 1,000 lives, Mr. Ban underscored what the UN special advisers on the prevention of genocide and the responsibility to protect said yesterday.

“The reported nature and scale of the attacks on civilians are egregious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. I condemn them, loudly and without qualification,” he said. “Those responsible for brutally shedding the blood of innocents must be punished.”

BBN/SI/AD-24Feb11-2:50 pm (BST)