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Turkish oil tanker seized in Libya, crew held captive

Baku, March 3, AZERTAC

An oil tanker under Turkish flag has been seized by an armed group in Libya, with 11 crew members on board held captive, Turkish media reported on Thursday, Xinhua reports.

According to the Deniz Haber Ajansi news agency, the armed group detained the ship when it was sailing off the coast of Zuwarah city in northwestern Libya. The armed people claimed the owner of the vessel owed them more than 430,000 U.S. dollars for purchasing oil.

The tanker Haci Telli left Turkish port of Tuzla for Malta on Feb. 11 and on Feb. 24 arrived at Zuwarah port where the armed men boarded the ship and seized it along with its crew members.

The armed group said they will hold the ship until the payment is made, otherwise they will sell the ship. No Libyan official could be reached for a comment, according to the Turkish news agency.

The North African country has been suffering from a security vacuum and chaos since the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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