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Libyan naval forces capture two oil-smuggling tankers off Tripoli after fire exchange

Libyan naval forces captured two vessels suspected of smuggling oil from the North African country after gun battles lasting several hours west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman for the service said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The spokesman for the Libyan naval forces, Ayoub Qassem, said Ukraine-flagged tanker Routa and a vessel with an unspecified African nation’s flag named Stark were captured early Friday.

The two tankers were seized off Sidi Al-Sayed area in the capital after nearly three hours of fire exchange, Ayoub Qassem told Reuters, giving no details about the nationalities of the arrested crewmembers and the casualties of the fight.

The Libyan naval forces along with other forces on the ground have been involved in an operation led by the Gas and Fuel Crisis Committee that have cracked down on smuggling via land border crossing and also via the Libyan waters.

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