Libya oil terminals seized in blow to unity govt

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TRIPOLI: Libya’s internationally backed government urged its forces on Sunday to act after two oil terminals fell to rival troops, raising fears of further violence in a country already gripped by turmoil. The call came after forces loyal to the unrecognized eastern authority seized two key export facilities. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) called on all forces loyal to it to “protect and defend” the ports against what it called “flagrant aggression” of Libyan sovereignty. The two Mediterranean ports are in Libya’s “oil crescent”, and seen as a vital source of income for the GNA which is struggling to assert its authority. Previously controlled by guards allied to the GNA, the ports of Al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf were seized by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. One of the most powerful military figures in Libya, Haftar is allied with a rival authority to the GNA based in the east. Ahmad Mesmari, a spokesman for Haftar’s forces, told a press conference that another oil terminal at Zuwaytina was not yet under their control.

AFP

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