BENGHAZI (AFP) - Rebels said they arrested dozens of militiamen loyal to Moamer Gaddafi in their eastern bastion but suffered a blow Monday in Libya's west, losing a village at the foot of a key mountain range. At least 63 people were rounded up in an ongoing bid to tighten security in the eastern city of Benghazi, following an hours-long battle with Gaddafi loyalists in the opposition stronghold. But in western Libya, pro-Gaddafi forces wrested back control of the village of Josh at the foot of the strategic Nafusa mountains, AFP journalists at the scene said. Josh had been emptied of its residents, the rebels said. Meanwhile, Italian coast guards found 25 people choked to death in the engine room of a tiny boat fleeing Libya crammed with 271 African refugees that landed Monday on the holiday island of Lampedusa. The 15-metre boat was heavily overcrowded and survivors said they had been at sea for three days. Prosecutors said the victims, crowded in a space accessible only through a trap door, appeared to have died from asphyxiation. Refugees cited in Italian news reports said the people in the engine room had tried to get out but were blocked by others because there was not enough space on deck, and probably died of intoxication from the engine fumes. Meanwhile, Norway on Monday withdrew as planned its final four F-16 fighter jets that have been taking part in the NATO-led mission over Libya, the Norwegian military said. The Norwegian planes, which landed at their bases in Bodoe in the north of Norway and in Oerland in the central west of the country, carried out 583 missions, out of a total of 6,493 flown by NATO since March 31, and dropped 569 bombs, military spokesman Petter Lindqvist told AFP. Meanwhile, France on Monday said it had given Libyan rebels 259 million dollars (181 million euros) in frozen funds that used to belong to the regime of strongman leader Moamer Gaddafi. "The NTC (National Transitional Council) will now be able to use these funds for purchases of a humanitarian nature," the French foreign ministry said in a statement. The NTC's new ambassador to Paris, Mansur Saif al-Nasr, said after meeting French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe that "these are funds that belong to the Libyan people" that will be used to buy "food and medicine."