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Ship carrying weapons bombed while docked in Port of Tripoli

Smoke rises from a port in Tripoli, Libya after an attack on February 18, 2020. © REUTERS/Ahmed Elumami

PortandTerminal.com, February 18, 2020

TRIPOLI, LIBYA – Libyan National Army (LNA) forces in Libya say they’ve destroyed a Turkish ship loaded with weapons and ammunition that was docked in the Port of Tripoli on Tuesday. 

This marks a significant escalation in violence in the ongoing crisis and chaos in Libya.

Strongman Khalifa Haftar in uniform
Strongman Khalifa Haftar leads the LNA

The LNA is led by warlord Khalifa Haftar seen pictured above. Haftar is a very powerful player in Libya, is based out of Benghazi and recently forced the closure of Libya’s ports and key oil fields to strengthen his hand while haggling over a truce with the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Libya.

READ: Army forces closure of eastern oil ports in Libya

United Nations Libya envoy Ghassan Salame also confirmed the attack amid months-long fighting between Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and the UN-backed Government of National Accord GNA).

READ: Arms Smuggling and Civil War: A roadmap for what’s going on in Libya

Reuters reports that thick smoke could be seen billowing from the port area, though the LNA’s claim to have directly hit a Turkish ship remained unconfirmed. 

The Libyan National Oil Corporation confirmed that it urgently evacuated all fuel tankers from the port of Tripoli, and stopped all unloading operations after shells fell meters away from a tanker loaded with explosive cooking gas that was unloading at the port.

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