Libyan gov't says 190 rebels killed in western fighting

Spokesman says al-Qaida responsible for death of rebel chief Younes; killing comes after rebels claim several towns in country's west.

Libyan rebels 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Libyan rebels 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
TRIPOLI - Libya's government spokesman said on Friday that forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi had killed at least 190 rebels in fighting in the west of the country since Wednesday.
Moussa Ibrahim also said that al-Qaida was responsible for the death of rebel military chief Abdel Fattah Younes, whose death on Thursday dealt a blow to the rebels and Western forces seeking to remove Gaddafi.
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Earlier, Libyan rebels also said the gunmen who shot dead their military chief were members of an Islamist-linked militia that is allied to their struggle to overthrow Gaddafi, but did not mention that the group was linked to al-Qaida.
Meanwhile, the rebels claimed to have taken several towns in a fresh offensive in the west.
Earlier in the week, Britainrecognized the Libyan rebel movement as the country's legitimate government and swiftly unblocked 91 million pounds in frozen assets.
It also invited the opposition to replace diplomats of Muammar Gaddafi's government in London, who have been expelled.