Gunmen storm Libyan oilfield, four workers believed killed

Black smoke billows from a fire at an oil depot struck in crossfire between militias battling in Tripoli, Libya, last July. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Reuters) – Gunmen possibly linked to Islamist militants assaulted and seized control of a Libyan oilfield, killing and kidnapping several workers, Libyan and foreign officials said on Wednesday.

A French diplomatic source in Paris said four local employees were believed to have been killed in the raid on the remote al-Mabrook oilfield south of Sirte on Tuesday night.

The Philippines Foreign Ministry said three Filipinos were among four foreign nationals who were kidnapped.

France’s Total has a stake in the site but it is contracted to a Libyan company. The Filipinos worked for an Italian company

“Unknown gunmen stormed the Mabrook oilfield last night,” National Oil Corp (NOC) spokesman Mohamed El Harari said, without providing details.

Ali al-Hassi, spokesman for an oil guard force, blamed Islamists for the attack.

“The field is outside of our control,” he said. “Islamic State is controlling it”…

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Libya starts dipping into wheat reserves to overcome flour shortages (Reuters) – Libya’s internationally recognised government said on Wednesday it had started tapping into its strategic wheat reserves to ensure bread supplies and overcome what it called a “flour crisis”.

The government works from the east of the north African nation having fled the capital Tripoli, where a group called Libya Dawn has seized control and backs a rival government not recognised by world powers.

Fighting between armed groups loyal to each side has disrupted oil exports as well as imports of goods by road and ships.