Libyan government says 190 rebels killed in western fighting

TRIPOLI Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:58pm EDT

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - 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 Qaeda 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.

The rebels claimed to have taken several towns in a fresh offensive in the west. A rebel minister earlier on Friday said that Younes had been killed by militia fighters allied to the rebellion.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; writing by David Lewis)

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