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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 13:45
Navy Seals board rogue Libya oil tanker Morning Glory

 

17 March 2014 BBC Africa

 

The US has taken control of a tanker full of oil loaded from a rebel-held port in Libya, the Pentagon says.

The raid by Navy Seals took place in international waters south of Cyprus, said Rear Adm John Kirby.

The Morning Glory's evasion of a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra prompted Libya's parliament to sack Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last week.

The oil terminal has been under the control of militia wanting autonomy for eastern Libya since July 2013.

Meanwhile, there has been a deadly attack on the barracks in the main eastern city of Benghazi.

This was their first attempt to export oil from rebel-held areas. It is not clear where the tanker was headed.

Adm Kirby said the operation had been authorised by President Barack Obama and that no-one had been hurt.

"The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained," he said, adding that it would now be returned to a Libyan port.

The vessel was flagged in North Korea but officials in Pyongyang said it had been deregistered because of the incident.

It was said to have been operated by an Egyptian company.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says the US move is likely to act as a deterrent to any further attempts to illicitly buy oil from the rebel-controlled ports.

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