Britain has frozen assets, worth about 20 billion pounds, that Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi and his family held in the country.

“I have taken action today to freeze the assets of Qadhafi and his family so that they cannot be used against the interests of the Libyan people,” Britain’s Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne said.

“This follows the U.N. Security Council Resolution tabled by the UK and France,” Mr. Osborne said in a statement.

“I decided to implement this U.N. resolution in the U.K. as quickly as possible, before the financial markets reopened. This is a strong message for the Libyan regime that violence against its own people is not acceptable,” he said.

The statement also warned financial institutions that the treasury would monitor compliance “rigorously”.

According to reports, Mr. Qadhafi’s British assets include bank accounts, commercial property and a 10 million pound London home.

The action follows that taken by the U.S., which on Sunday signed an order freezing the Libyan leader’s assets.

The U.N. Security Council had unanimously ordered a travel and assets ban on Mr. Qadhafi’s regime and crime against humanity investigation into the bloodshed blamed on the Libyan strongman. It also called for an immediate arms embargo against Libya, where the United Nations says more than 1,000 people have been killed in attacks blamed on Mr. Qadhafi loyalists.

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