Turkish cargo ship bombed near Libyan coast
FORCES loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized government said yesterday they shelled a Turkish ship off the Libyan coast after it was warned not to approach, and one crew member was killed in what Turkey described as a “contemptible attack”.
Libya is in a state of violent factional chaos with two rival governments backed by various armed groups vying for control of the oil-producing North African state including its ports, four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
The dry cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast on Sunday after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi told Reuters.
The forces of Libya’s internationally recognized government have said they will hit any ships approaching Derna to stop supplies getting to Islamist militants based there.
The Turkish foreign ministry said the vessel was shelled as it approached the nearby Mediterranean port of Tobruk and then attacked from the air as it tried to leave the area.
“We condemn strongly this contemptible attack which targeted a civilian ship in international waters and curse those who carried it out,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that Ankara had protested to the authorities in Libya.