Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi were again in control on Monday of the village of Josh at the foot of the strategic western Nafusa mountains, AFP journalists at the scene said.
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The rebels had on Sunday taken the village, but said they were forced to retreat to the east, half way along the road to the town of Shakshuka, after several hours of fighting.
The rebels said Josh had been emptied of residents and pro-Kadhafi forces were now in the village.
The Nafusa region has seen heavy fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Kadhafi since the insurgents launched a major offensive this month in a drive on the capital Tripoli.