Algeria's foreign ministry is denying claims by a top Libyan rebel leader that the government is supporting mercenaries fighting for Moammar Gadhafi.
The ministry issued a statement Tuesday calling such accusations "irresponsible," adding that Libyan rebel leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil had persisted with the claims despite repeated Algerian denials.
Abdul-Jalil has said the rebels raised the issue of Gadhafi's use of foreign mercenaries from other African and Arab countries _ particularly Algeria _ during talks with an African Union delegation working to find a cease-fire in Libya. He did not elaborate.
Algeria has called for an end to the fighting in neighboring Libya, and has warned that terrorists may seek to infiltrate anti-Gadhafi groups.