BENGHAZI, Libya – Libyan rebels battling Moammar Gadhafi’s troops along the country’s Mediterranean coast said they captured a key oil terminal Thursday that has repeatedly changed hands in the 6-month-old civil war.

Rebel spokesman Mohammed al-Rijali said he was with the fighters in Brega when they gained control of the strategic port city, 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of the de-facto rebel capital of Benghazi, after three weeks of intense fighting.

“Brega is liberated,” al-Rijali told The Associated Press.

Al-Rijali, who spoke over the telephone from nearby Ajdabiya, didn’t provide any details or a casualty toll. His claim could not be immediately verified. Officials in the Libyan capital Tripoli made no comment on the rebel claim.

Brega fell under rebel control briefly in March, but was recaptured by Gadhafi’s forces shortly afterward. The fighting around the city has gone back and forth since then.