Libyan navy fires on tanker

Libya’s navy opened fire after a Maltese-flagged oil tanker approached to illegally load crude at a port that has been controlled for months by armed protesters demanding more autonomy from Tripoli, officials said yesterday.

Libyan navy fires on Malta-flagged tanker

Libya’s navy opened fire after a Maltese-flagged oil tanker approached to illegally load crude at a port that has been controlled for months by armed protesters demanding more autonomy from Tripoli, officials said yesterday.

The use of force to prevent protesters at eastern ports from shipping oil to world markets independently is a major escalation in a blockade that has already slashed oil exports and revenues for the Opec member state.

Libyan officials said the tanker Baku had entered Libyan waters on Sunday in an attempt to approach the seized port of Es Sider. But the navy fired shots after the vessel refused to stop and instead turned to flee toward Malta.

“We asked them to change course toward Misurata, but then we had to open fire when they refused and started to pull away, zigzagging,” navy spokesman Emad Ayoub said in a televised news conference with other military officials.

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Source: Times of Malta.

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