Libyan government and rebel forces renew threats amid oil stand-offUpdated: 2014-03-10 22:10:17 (KST)
Libyan authorities have dispatched "a force" to a port held by armed protesters to stop a North Korean-flagged tanker from leaving with crude sold without government permission.
Culture Minister Habib Al-amin said Sunday that the "force" consists of "qualified" naval officers and "revolutionaries," or former rebels now being paid by the government and adds that it has the authorization to strike the tanker with force if it does not comply.
"Orders were given and all efforts are being undertaken to stop and seize the tanker, if necessary by a strike if it does not follow orders."
The 37,ton "Morning Glory" was docked at the terminal of Es Sider , which is one of three ports seized by rebels which is being used to press state authorities for a bigger share of oil revenues.
A local daily says the ship has been loaded with 36 million U.S. dollars of crude.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the military would bomb the Morning Glory if it tried to leave the port.
The captain of the North Korean-flagged oil tanker responded that local militia onboard did not allow them to depart.
The rebels say any attack on the tanker would be a "declaration of war."
The incident illustrates the deepening turmoil in the OPEC producer, which has failed to rein in fighters who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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