TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Foreign powers accelerated efforts to help oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday as rebels fought government forces trying to take back strategic coastal cities on either side of the capital Tripoli. In the capital, Gaddafis last stronghold, a Reuters reporter saw about 400 people protesting in a square in the Tajoura district, an area already partly outside his control. Witnesses in both Misrata, 200 km to the east of Tripoli, and Zawiyah, 50 km to the west, said government forces were mounting or preparing attacks. Rebels downed a military aircraft on Monday, a witness said Foreign governments are increasing the pressure on Gaddafi to leave in the hope of ending fighting that has claimed at least 1,000 lives. European Union approved a package of sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest advisers on Monday, including an arms embargo and bans on travel to the bloc. The 27 EU states also agreed to freeze the assets of Gaddafi, his family and government, and ban the sale of goods such as tear gas and anti-riot equipment that can be used against demonstrators. The Pentagon said it was repositioning US naval and air forces around Libya to provide options and flexibility. The US Sixth Fleet operates out of Italy. In The Hague, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said he would finish a preliminary examination of the violence within days, after which he could open a full inquiry - a step mandated by the Council that could have taken months. France proposed an emergency summit of EU leaders for Thursday, EU diplomats said. In Washington, a White House spokesman declined to rule out that Gaddafi could be helped to go into exile. A US official in Geneva said a central aim of sanctions was to send a message not only to Gaddafi ... but to the people around Gaddafi, who are the ones were really seeking to influence. Prime Minister David Cameron said UK would work with allies on plans to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya to protect its people from military attacks. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said after meeting Clinton that he was proposing a 60-day freeze on money transfers to Libya, and believed other countries were open to the idea. Gaddafi accused Western countries of abandoning his government in its fight against terrorists in an interview with ABC on Monday.