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New fighting shreds Libya economy

11:28am EDT - 01:41

With Libya returning to its worst violence since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted, its people are suffering economic chaos and - with fuel storage tanks ablaze near Tripoli - there are fears it may be facing a major environmental disaster. Joel Flynn reports.

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A fire rages at a fuel depot in Tripoli - the result of fighting between rival Libyan militias. It's the latest in a series of skirmishes in the North African country. It's descended into its deadliest violence since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. The government is no longer able to impose order, amid a climate of political and security instability, now affecting citizen's access to basics. SOUNDBITE: Tripoli Resident, Mohammed Algiriani, saying (Arabic): "The holidays are here and people want to enjoy Eid but they can not. They want to go out and shop for Eid, but they don't have one drop of petrol." SOUNDBITE: Tunisian Worker At Abustah Gas Station, Marwan, saying (Arabic): "There's petrol available but people are stocking up for nearly a week, which they don't have to do. They should let this crisis pass because there is petrol around. Libya's the world's third largest producer, so how will it not have petrol?" Dozens were killed over the weekend in Benghazi in militant clashes. But despite the instability oil prices remain stable. Brent crude oil has steadied around $108 a barrel - ample supply offsetting geopolitical tensions in Libya and elsewhere. Neal Kimberley is a market analyst at Reuters. SOUNDBITE: Reuters FX Analyst, Neal Kimberley, saying (English): "I would have expected oil to be higher. It's not happening. But you do sense that things are in place for those kinds of things to happen. It's just a case of when does the market go "well hang on a second, what's happening in Libya? Is that really still going on? Oh, I'll have to take that into account." Some analysts say Libya's low production has already been factored into prices. It's been outputting less than a million barrels a day for more than two years. But with exports from Iraq still near record levels and the shale gas revolution in U.S. keeping pace with demand there, the outlook for oil prices looks benign.

New fighting shreds Libya economy

11:28am EDT - 01:41

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