‘Libya could use force against guards’

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Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has warned of using military force against security guards at the countryâ„¢s main ports if they sell crude oil independently.

The prime minister said at a press conference in Tripoli on Thursday that Ibrahim al-Jathran, regional head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard and leader of the protesters, wants to sell the oil independently of Libyaâ„¢s state oil company National Oil Corp.

Å“The head of the protesters wants to export oil for their own group, they do not want to make concessions,” said Zeidan, adding that Å“If any tanker comes to the port to pick up oil then we will use any means to stop it [including the army, navy or air force].”

The opposition group initiated strikes at Libyaâ„¢s two largest ports for nearly three weeks, with armed security guards asking for higher pay.

Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said the country has lost USD 1.6 billion in oil sales since July 25, spurned by the closure of all ports except for Zawiya in the west.

Production and exports have reached their lowest levels since the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The shortfall from Libya has been a major factor in pushing up world oil prices, with a four-month high of around USD 111 a barrel.

GMA/HSN

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Republished from: Press TV