Libyans repel government forces from rebel-held town as Colonel Gaddafi claims: ‘West only wants our oil’

Libyan rebels today repelled Colonel Gaddafi’s bid to reclaim an oil rich town as he declared to fight on to the end.

The veteran ruler twinned the failed attack with a fiery propaganda broadside against the rebels, playing on both nationalist opinion and Western jitters by saying much blood would be shed in ‘another Vietnam’ if foreign powers intervened in the crisis.

After Gaddafi’s men seized control of Brega they were forced back by rebel fighters in the most significant response by the Libyan leader since the uprising began. It was thought they may have run out of ammunition.

An estimated 14 people died in battles and up to 50 were injured today. With the dictator vowing to fight to the end there was little sign of the situation being resolved – and the U.S. were warning that the country was at risk of civil war.

In a three hour address earlier, the dictator accused the West of wanting to get their hands on the country’s oil.

‘There is a conspiracy to control the Libyan oil and to control the Libyan land, to colonise Libya once again,’ he said in a televised speech before a loyal audience.

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