Militants shell two Libyan oilfields

Pipeline to Es Sidra oil was severely damaged

Militants shell two Libyan oilfields

World Bulletin / News Desk

Militants shelled Libya's Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields on Monday, damaging a pipeline to the Es Sidra oil port, a spokesman for forces protecting energy infrastructure said.

Militants claiming loyalty to ISIL have been blamed for attacks last month on an oilfield and pipeline inLibya, where two rival governments are battling for control.

"Large armed forces calling themselves ISIL in Libya shelled Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields. Field offices are still on fire," spokesman Ali Hassi said. "The militants damaged the crude pipeline between the two oilfields and Es Sidra port."

He said it was still difficult to assess damage and fighting was continuing. Hassi said oil security forces were also confronting militants at a third oilfield, al-Dahra.

A spokesman for Libya's National Oil Corporation was not immediately available to comment.

Four years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in chaos with two rival governments -- only one internationally recognised -- and their armed forces battling for control of the sprawling North African state and its oil wealth.

Oil infrastructure has increasingly been at the heart of their struggle, closing two major export terminals and cutting the OPEC member state's exports. But militants have been gaining ground in the turmoil.

The El Sarir pipeline was hit by sabotage last month, igniting a blaze and shutting off the flow to Hariga port.

Last month, gunmen killed 12 people south of Sirte, among them two Filipino and two Ghanaian nationals, after storming a remote oilfield. Officials said most of the victims were beheaded or shot.

French and Libyan officials said ISIL militants were behind the attack on the oilfield, in which France's Total has a stake but which is operated by a Libyan company.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Mart 2015, 21:53