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Libyan army seizes foreign ship entering eastern military zone

Libyan army seizes foreign ship entering eastern military zone
Xinhua 2018-03-12

TRIPOLI, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Libya's eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, seized a foreign ship that entered a banned military zone in eastern Libya, a spokesman said on Sunday.

"Omar al-Mukhtar Operation Chamber, in cooperation with the air force, managed to seize a foreign ship near Darna city. The ship's Syrian captain and Turkish crew were arrested," Army Spokesman Ahmad Mismari said in a press conference on Sunday in Benghazi.

"The ship's crew is being investigated and the ship's country of origin has not been identified," he said, adding that there is likely a link between the crew and terrorist groups in the city.

The army's Omar al-Mukhtar Operation Chamber said earlier in a statement that the ship was seized late Saturday night 14 miles off Sousse town, near Darna.

"It was targeted by a warplane after entering the territorial waters without permission from the authorities and refusing to comply with the repeated warnings," the statement said.

The vessel was towed to the port of Ras Hlal, 50 miles east Darna, the only city in eastern Libya outside the control of the army.

Darna has been besieged by the army, which is demanding the armed group of the Shura Council of Mujahideen of Darna to leave the city. The army accuses the group of being loyal to al-Qaida.