DHAKA: Libya has threatened to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tries to export oil from a rebel-controlled port east of Tripoli, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country`s petroleum wealth.
The rebels in control of Libya`s eastern ports are attempting to export oil with the tanker that docked at gunpoint on Saturday.
Mohammed al-Harari, the spokesman for Libya`s national oil company, said that the vessel could carry up to 350,000 barrels of oil, Al-Jazeera reported.
An oil company official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief reporters, said armed men forced workers loyal to the government to dock the ship.
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the authorities had told the vessel`s captain to leave Libyan territorial waters, but he said gunmen on board were preventing him from leaving.
"All parties must respect Libyan sovereignty. If the ship does not comply, it will be bombed," Zeidan said.
BDST: 0917 HRS, MAR 09, 2014
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