Libya's premier warns could sink oil tankers trying to reach seized ports

TRIPOLI Wed Jan 8, 2014 9:22am EST

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TRIPOLI Jan 8 (Reuters) - Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan warned on Wednesday oil tankers trying to reach ports seized by armed protesters must stay away or they could be sunk by the navy.

He made the statement after the navy fired warning shots to ward off a tanker that the National Oil Corp. (NOC) said tried to load crude at a terminal held by protesters, who say they opened ports under their control for business.

"Any country or company or gang trying to send tankers to take oil from the seized ports without coordinating with the NOC, we will deal with them, even if we are forced to destroy or sink them," Zeidan said. "We warn all countries there will be no leniency." (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Ghaith Shennib; writing by Patrick Markey; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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