March 18, 2014 / 11:14 AM / 5 years ago

Libyan port rebels say U.S. seizure of oil tanker act of piracy

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt transits the Strait of Gibraltar February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Lt. Juan David Guerra/US Navy/handout via Reuters

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan rebels said the U.S. seizure of a tanker that loaded crude at a port under their control was an illegal act of piracy, according to a statement run by a rebel television station on Tuesday.

Abb-Rabbo al-Barassi, the rebels’ self-declared prime minister, said the storming of the tanker by U.S. Navy commandos had violated international law, the statement said.

Last week, the tanker had loaded oil at the rebel-held Es Sider port and escaped the Libyan navy before U.S. forces seized it on Sunday night off the Cyprus coast.

Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Dale Hudson

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