British intelligence sources are convinced that Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi has become “paranoid” that NATO’s missile attacks on his country will lead to his death, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, quoting UK diplomats.

While NATO has officially denied that it trying to kill Gaddafi, there have been reports of missiles being fired on buildings where the Libyan leader is thought to be hiding. Gaddafi has not been seen in public in weeks.

UK diplomats suggest that the fear of death may soon force Gaddafi into stepping down from power, as western nations are demanding.

“There’s a consensus that we need to be turning the screw now and that’s partly informed by our intelligence of what’s going on on the ground,” the diplomatic source told the Telegraph.

“One quite striking thing is the fact that Gaddafi appears to be moving from hospital to hospital. What he is doing is moving from one place we won’t bomb to another place we won’t bomb.”

Meanwhile, the noose is slowly tightening around Gaddafi’s neck.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has authorized the use of Apache attack helicopters to conduct missions over Libya. Britain and France have intensified their bombardment of Tripoli over the past week.

Cameron said that NATO seeks to “turn up the pressure on the regime so that people in Libya can choose their own future”.

At the G8 summit in Deauville, France, top leaders, including even Russia, are calling for Gaddafi to step down.

In a statement, they said that Gaddafi has no future in a free, democratic Libya. He must go.

Gaddafi also has suffered yet another defection by a top aide. Hadeiba Hadi, Libya’s ambassador to the European Union, said he and his entire is defecting to the side of the rebels. He said he and his staff want “to place ourselves at the service of the Libyan people in the struggle for democracy”.