Libya Seizes North Korea-Flagged Tanker After Loading Crude at Rebel Port – UPDATE

A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf March 8, 2014. Libya threatened on Saturday to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country's petroleum wealth. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
A North Korean-flagged tanker is docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf March 8, 2014. Libya threatened on Saturday to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country’s petroleum wealth. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

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UPDATE:

TRIPOLI, March 10 (Reuters) – Libyan government forces on Monday seized a tanker that had loaded crude at a port under the control of rebels who plan to sell oil independently of the Tripoli government, state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said.

The North Korea-flagged shipped was being escorted to western Libya, NOC spokesman Mohammed El-Harari told Reuters, confirming Libyan media reports.

Lawmaker Abdelwahab al-Qaim told Reuters: “The ship has been seized by government forces. There are no damages to the ship.”

A rebel spokesman had earlier denied they had lost control of the ship. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Feras Bosalum; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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Libyan navy and allied militia forces have surrounded a North Korea-flagged tanker just outside an eastern port held by rebels, a navy spokesman said on Monday.

The Morning Glory has loaded crude oil worth $30 million at the Es Sider port, bypassing Tripoli authorities, despite a government threat to bomb it should it sail away.

SEE ALSO: Libya Authorizes Use Of Force Against North Korean-Flagged Tanker

Navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters the tanker was currently in what is known as the waiting area outside the port for ships planning to depart at some point.

“Boats from the navy and revolutionary forces have surrounded the tanker,” he said. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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