It will deepen concerns among the rebels’ Western backers including the United States, keen to see them prevail in a five-month-old civil war but frustrated by their lack of unity and nervous about the influence of Islamists.
After 24 hours of confusion, rebel minister Ali Tarhouni said Younes had been killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, a militia allied to the rebels and named after one of the companions of the Prophet Mohammad, suggesting that Islamist elements were involved. The assassination has hurt the opposition just as it was winning broader international recognition and launching an offensive in the west of the country. <!–more–>asdf
NAFUSA MOUNTAINS, Libya – More than five months into Libya’s civil war, rebels in the western mountains who’ve seen their advance on Tripoli stall 50 miles from the capital dealt with a new challenge Thursday.
They launched an all-out assault on Moammar Gadhafi’s forces to protect strategic ground won months ago, an offensive that had been rumored for days.
Nalut is one of the cities the rebels controlled almost from the beginning of the war, but Gadhafi’s army continued to bomb it nightly. Government forces have also threatened to try and retake the nearby border crossing with Tunisia, the only such crossing rebels control.
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