Oil in seized tanker belongs to Libya's east: rebel leader

TRIPOLI Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:15am EDT

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran said on Tuesday the oil in a tanker seized by the U.S. Navy belongs to the people of Libya's eastern Cyrenaica region and called on the Arab League to intervene.

Speaking to a rebel television station, Jathran said the United States had helped the government steal oil from the people in Libya's east.

"We will continue our fight," said Jathran, who is seeking greater autonomy for the eastern region.

The U.S. Navy seized the Morning Glory tanker on Sunday night after the vessel had loaded oil from the rebel-controlled port of Es Sider.

Jathran's group has been in control of several major crude oil export terminals in the country's east since July 2013.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Writing by Julia Payne; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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