Libyan air force claims its warplane sank vessel near Benghazi


Dec 26, 2014
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Libyan air force claims its warplane sank vessel near Benghazi - World - CBC News

A spokesman for the Libyan air force that is allied to the country's internationally recognized government said a warplane attacked and sank a vessel Sunday near the eastern city of Benghazi.

There were no eyewitness reports or independent confirmation for the strike, said to be near the town of Mareesa. It was also reported by the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television network.

"The vessel was sunk because it had loaded fighters, weapons and ammunition to support terrorism in the eastern region," air force spokesman Nasser al-Hassi said early Monday local time.

Libya is in chaos with two governments and parliaments with their own armed forces fighting for control four years after the ousting of Moammar Gadhafi.

A Reuters reporter had during the day heard war planes circling above Benghazi, some 20 kilometres away from Mareesa.

Tripoli-based state oil firm National Oil Corp has accused the eastern government of having bombed oil tankers three times. The eastern forces said the ships had weapons and ammunition.

The official government is based in the east since losing the capital a year ago to a rival group, which set up its own administration. Both have attacked each other with warplanes.

In May, aircraft from Libya's recognized government attacked an oil tanker docked outside the central city of Sirte, wounding three people and setting the ship on fire.