TRIPOLI, June 16 Libya is deploying special
forces to protect petrol stations in the capital Tripoli packed
by angry motorists trying to refill, the government said, as the
state oil firm struggles to bring in fresh supplies.
Petrol stations across Tripoli have seen for almost two
weeks queues stretching sometimes kilometres, adding to the
frustration of Libyans exhausted by chaos and violence.
Libya's state oil firm says it has sufficient supplies but a
lack of security at petrol stations makes it difficult to bring
in fresh supplies. Residents say some of the fuel is being sold
on the black market.
The government said in a statement posted late on Sunday it
had agreed with Tripoli's security headquarters to deploy the
interior ministry's special forces to protect petrol stations.
In the up-market Gargaresh district, trucks with mounted
anti-aircraft guns were seen protecting two petrol stations and
shepherding long queues of motorists.
Libya is in turmoil as the government struggles to control
militias who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now defy
It has struggled to keep the 120,000 barrels a day Zawiya
refinery that supplies western Libya running after protesters
closed the El Sharara oilfield which supplies it.
The government has been forced to use its two offshore
fields to keep Zawiya running. But this will further reduce
exports, which have fallen to less than 200,000 barrels per day
from 1.4 million bpd when the protests started in July, eroding
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by William Hardy)