UPDATE 3-NATO-led air strike kills 13 Libyan rebels

Sat Apr 2, 2011 5:05pm GMT

* Rebels say bombing a mistake, call for more air strikes

* Gaddafi forces repulse rebels beyond Brega

* Aircraft heard overhead, rebels speak of stalemate

(Adds updated air strike death toll)

By Alexander Dziadosz

BREGA, Libya, April 2 (Reuters) - A NATO-led air strike killed 13 Libyan rebel fighters as they tried to take control of Brega, before forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi pushed them back beyond the oil town's eastern limits on Saturday.

The rebel leadership described the deaths as an unfortunate mistake and called for continued air strikes against Gaddafi's forces, who thrust east from Brega with rockets and machineguns.

The rapid advance sent hundreds of anti-government fighters fleeing down the coast road, erasing two days of rebel gains.

Better-trained and experienced rebel fighters had earlier been fighting Gaddafi's forces inside Brega, but it was unclear whether they held their ground or pulled back into the desert. Journalists moved back east with the rebels.   Continued...

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