TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Pakistani sea captain Mirza Noman Baig knew he was trapped when dozens of fighters armed with rifles boarded his tanker just off a rebel-held port on Libya’s coast.
A militia from the country’s restive east forced his crew to load oil onto Baig’s vessel, the Morning Glory, and demanded they escape the navy before the ship was stormed by U.S. special forces on March 16, according to his account of events.
ZAWIYA PORT, Libya (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy handed over to Libyan authorities on Saturday an oil tanker carrying crude that had been loaded at a port controlled by armed rebels in defiance of Tripoli’s government.
The Morning Glory tanker was due to arrive later on Saturday at Libya’s government-controlled Zawiya port after being seized by U.S. commandos and escorted back through international waters by the U.S. Navy, Libyan officials said.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – A bomb exploded on the runway of Libya’s main airport on Friday, the transport minister said, highlighting the deteriorating security situation in the north African country almost three years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted.
Supposedly one of the best guarded places in Libya, unknown people managed to get onto the runway at Tripoli International Airport, plant an explosive device at dawn and detonate it using a timer, Transport Minister Abdelqader Mohammed Ahmed said.
TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – A Libyan rebel leader accused the United States on Tuesday of behaving like pirates after U.S. naval forces seized an oil-laden tanker that had sailed from a rebel-held port in the east of the chaotic North African state.
Ibrahim Jathran’s defiant speech dampened hopes of a quick peaceful settlement with Libya’s central government to end a blockage of three oil ports his men took over in summer to press for eastern autonomy and a greater share of oil revenues.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – A Libyan rebel leader said on Tuesday the oil in a tanker seized by the U.S. Navy belongs to the people of Libya’s eastern Cyrenaica region and called on the Arab League to intervene.
Ibrahim Jathran and his followers are seeking greater autonomy for the eastern area and have blocked several ports there since July 2013. Tripoli has repeatedly failed to negotiate a peaceful end to the blockade, which has crippled the OPEC country’s finances as its main revenue stream remains shut.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – U.S. special forces have seized a tanker that fled with a cargo of oil from a Libyan port, the U.S. Department of Defense said on Monday, halting an attempt by rebels to sell petroleum on the global market.
Libyan rebels demanding a greater share of oil wealth managed to load crude onto the ship, which escaped Libya’s navy, embarrassing the government and prompting parliament to sack the prime minister.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan sought refuge in Europe on Wednesday after parliament voted him out for failing to stop rebels independently exporting oil in a challenge to Libya’s fragile unity.
The crisis arose when protesters who have seized three eastern ports since August loaded crude onto a North Korean-flagged tanker at Es Sider terminal at the weekend.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan has fled to Europe after parliament voted him out of office on Tuesday over his failure to stop rebels exporting oil independently in a brazen challenge to the nation’s fragile unity.
Zeidan was in Malta for two hours late on Tuesday on a short stop before going to “another European country”, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told state-owned television TVM.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s parliament voted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan out of office on Tuesday after rebels humiliated the government by loading crude on a tanker that fled from naval forces, officials said, in a sign of the worsening chaos in the OPEC member state.
Libyan gunboats later chased the tanker along Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast and opened fire, damaging it, a military spokesman said. Italian naval ships were helping move the tanker to a Libyan government-controlled port, he said. But Italy denied any of its vessels were in the area at the time and the reported firing incident could not be confirmed.
TRIPOLI/ES SIDER, Libya (Reuters) – Libya’s parliament voted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan out of office on Tuesday after a tanker loaded with oil from a rebel-held port escaped the navy, officials said.
Zeidan, a liberal weakened for months by infighting with Islamists, will be temporarily replaced by Defence Minister Abdallah al-Thinni, parliament spokesman Omar Hmeidan told reporters.