Eastern Libyan rebel forces seize Turkish ship

Eastern Libyan rebel forces seize Turkish ship
The Turkish ship was reportedly headed for the western Libyan city of Misrata.
1 min read
08 December, 2020
Libyan National Army forces seized the vessel this week [Getty]
Eastern Libyan rebel forces have intercepted a Turkish ship headed for the western city of Misrata, news agencies reported late Monday.

A Jamaican-flagged Turkish commercial cargo ship, the Mabrouka, was stopped by naval units from Khalifa Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) near the eastern city of Derna, the rebel force's spokesman Ahmed Al-Mismari said, according to Reuters.

The ship's cargo, which has not been inspected, and 17 crew members, including nine Turkish nationals, have been held at port, the spokesperson said.

The seizure of the commercial vessel threatens to disrupt an ongoing truce between the rebel LNA and UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), agreed in October.

The LNA was accused of breaking the ceasefire after seizing a military base on Sunday.

Read also: French-Lebanese linked to Sarkozy probe released in Lebanon

Mismari accused Turkey of continuing to send arms to the GNA, despite a Libya weapons' embargo, while the LNA is receiving arms or other support from Russia, the UAE and Egypt.

The UN has been holding talks between the two sides in a bid to end the fighting.

Divisions broke out between rival militias after the defeat of  dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Fighting is now centered between the UN-recognised government in the west and rival administration in the east.

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