WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday condemnedthe violence in Libya as "outrageous and unacceptable" and saidhe was dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton toGeneva on Monday for international talks aimed at stopping theviolence.

Obama said he was studying a "full range of options" topressure Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime to halt attacksagainst Libyans as violent clashes spread throughout the NorthAfrican country. He said the options included possible sanctionsthat the U.S. could take with its allies.

"We are doing everything we can to protect American citizens,"Obama said in brief remarks at the White House, his first publiccomments after days of violence in Libya.

"We strongly condemn the use of violence in Libya," Obamasaid. He spoke in the wake of uprisings in neighboring Egypt andTunisia. The week-old protests in Libya have been met by a far morebrutal response from militiamen loyal to Gadhafi.

Obama broke his public silence on the violence after the U.S.succeeded in beginning evacuations of American citizens from thechaotic situation.