World Bulletin/News Desk
Libya on Saturday called for urgent assistance from the United States, Italy and Germany to put out a blaze that broke out in its eastern oil terminal on Thursday.
It said the fire had spread to five other storage facilities in the vicinity of the terminal, demanding urgent assistance.
Omar al-Sanki, the interior minister of the Tobruk parliament-backed government, called on the envoys of Washington, Rome and Berlin to ask their countries to help in putting out the fire.
"The oil storage facilities were targeted by the Dawn of Libya terrorist militias," al-Sanki said in a statement.
He warned against what he described as the "environmental disasters" that could result from the fire, noting that civil defense teams had limited capabilities and were incapable of extinguishing the fire without external help.
On Thursday, a fire broke out in an oil-storage facility in the eastern Libyan port of Sidra after being struck by a rocket.
The fire spread to two other oil-storage facilities on Friday.
"On Saturday, the fired reached additional two storage tanks after firemen failed to contain it," a Libyan oil sector official told The Anadolu Agency.
Earlier this month, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) halted operations at the country's two largest oil ports – Sidra and Ras Lanuf – following clashes between forces loyal to Libya's two rival governments.
Major oil facilities affiliated with the ports also halted operations, while the NOC ordered operating companies to evacuate their personnel.
Forces loyal to Libya's Tripoli-based government then launched an operation to "liberate oil fields and ports from the hands of the outlaws," according to a statement.
They later claimed to have captured Sidra, the country's largest oil export terminal.
In the three years since Muammar Qaddafi's ouster and death, rival militias have often locked horns, frequently bringing violence to Libya's main cities, especially capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
The Libyan government, meanwhile, has appeared largely absent from the scene.
The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.
Two assemblies currently vie for legislative authority: the House of Representatives, which convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk; and the General National Congress, which – even though its mandate ended in August – continues to convene in Tripoli.
The two parliaments support two different governments respectively headquartered in the two cities.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Aralık 2014, 10:30