Things heat up: Rocket hits tank at Libya’s biggest oil port; Islamists kill 19 soldiers

Black smoke billows out of a storage oil tank in the port of Es Sider in Ras Lanuf December 25, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS

(Reuters) – A rocket hit a storage tank at the eastern Libyan oil of port Es Sider as armed factions allied to competing governments fought for control of the country’s biggest export terminal, officials said on Thursday.

Clashes were also reported from Sirte, a city west of Es Sider, killing up to 19, residents said. No more details were immediately available.

Es Sider and its adjacent Ras Lanuf terminal have been closed since a force allied to a rival government in Tripoli moved east trying to take them.

“A tank was hit but the damage is limited,” said an official from a security service allied to the internationally-recognized government, now operating from eastern Libya. He said there were heavy clashes in the Ben Jawad area west of Es Sider where he said some of the rival forces were based.

He accused opponents of having shot at the port from boats which they had tried to dock at Es Sider. “The air force destroyed three boats which were attempting to seize the port,” he said…

UPDATE: Islamists kill 19 Libyan soldiers after attack on oil ports

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