Libya’s eastern-based forces intercept commercial ship

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) intercepted a foreign commercial ship off the country’s coast, LNA’s spokesperson Ahmad al-Mismari said.

He said in a statement late Monday that the ship’s crew consisted of nine Turks, seven Indians and an Azerbaijani, confirming that the vessel was heading to the western city of Misrata under a Jamaican flag, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The ship did not respond to the call for identification and entered the restricted military operations zone.

“Therefore, it was intercepted and towed to the port of Ra’s al Hilal (eastern Libya),” the statement said.

The ship is now under investigation “for violating Libyan maritime laws and regulations”, it added.

Libya has been locked in a civil war since the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The situation escalated in 2014, splitting power between two rival governments: the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in the capital Tripoli and another in the northeastern city of Tobruk allied with eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.