Fires erupt as ISIL attacks Libya oil facilities

'Storage tanks filled with crude have caught fire' after ISIL launches its attack

Fires erupt as ISIL attacks Libya oil facilities

World Bulletin / News Desk

Oil facilities in northern Libya were set ablaze Thursday as ISIL group extremists launched fresh attacks to seize key export terminals, the state oil company and local media said.

"Fighting resumed at dawn on Thursday... in the Ras Lanouf region," Libya's National Oil Corporation said in a statement, referring to a terminal that, along with the nearby Al-Sidra facility, is one of the country's main oil export hubs.

"Storage tanks filled with crude have caught fire," it said, adding that nearby high-voltage power lines and electrical towers had also been downed.

"The situation in Ras Lanouf is catastrophic for the enviroment," it said.

State news agency LANA reported that ISIL militants were behind the attack and that the storage tankers belonged to the Harouge Oil Operations company.

ISIL, a growing power in strife-torn Libya, has in recent weeks launched repeated attacks from its base in the city of Sirte on facilities in the "oil crescent" along Libya's northern coast.

Libya sits on estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, the largest in Africa, but production has plummeted since the country descended into chaos following the 2011 ouster of Moamer Kadhafi.

A national unity government was formed on Tuesday under a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending political divisions that have seen the country torn between rival administrations and parliaments.

But it was unclear how much support the new government enjoys, especially among Libya's myriad armed groups, and whether it would be able to exert any authority.

 

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2016, 14:01
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