Libya's Haftar-led forces seize two Italian fishing boats

Libya's Haftar-led forces seize two Italian fishing boats

October 10, 2018 - 21:35
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The naval forces in eastern Libya under the command of the leader of the self-styled army Khalifa Haftar said they had seized two Italian fishing boats with 13 crewmen on board as they were inside Libyan territorial waters on Wednesday.

The forces said they had taken the Italian vessels and crewmen to Ras Al-Hilal port east of Benghazi.

They also said that the two boats were intercepted off Derna shores which makes it a violation of the sovereignty of the Libyan waters as well as Haftar's decision that banned sailing in that water zone.

The mayor of the Sicilian town of Mazara del Vallo where the vessels are based, Nicola Cristaldi, said on Wednesday that the boats are the Afrodite Pesca, which had six people aboard, and the Matteo Marrarino, which had a crew of seven.

"The vessels are said to have been seized around 29 miles from the Libyan coast at Derna. Libyan officials are said to have fired on the fishing boats without warning and then boarded them and ordered the captains to head to the port of Ras Al-Hilal." ANSA reported.

"None of the crew members were hurt and they are not under arrest," Italian sources said.

Cristaldi also added that the boats were boarded in waters that Libya unilaterally and illegitimately considers its own.