Armed robbery targets Libyan state oil firm in Tripoli

The National Oil Corporation said two masked men stormed the building and held guards captive until the next day

Libya's state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation, said it was attacked by armed robbers. Reuters
Libya's state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation, said it was attacked by armed robbers. Reuters

Libya’s state oil company said armed men opened fire on the headquarters of a wells drilling and maintenance unit in the capital on Friday.

The National Oil Corporation said two masked men stormed the building and held two guards captive until the next morning. “The personal belongings of the two captives were stolen in addition to a number of devices belonging to the company,” the NOC said.

In September 2018, militants loyal to ISIS attacked the NOC headquarters in Tripoli, killing two and wounding at least 25.

The United Nations envoy to Libya said last week he had launched “an intensive campaign” for an international conference to deliver a message that an offensive launched five months ago to take Tripoli must end.

Ghassan Salame also told the Security Council that unless regional and international countries recognise that only a political solution can ensure Libya’s stability, “the conflict will continue”.

Without an immediate end to the conflict, he said, “we are faced with two highly unpalatable scenarios” – a protracted low-intensity conflict with more destruction “and a growing transnational terrorist threat”, or an increase in “military support to one side or the other by their external patrons” that will sharply escalate fighting and “plunge the entire region into chaos”.

A civil war in Libya in 2011 toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

In the chaos that followed, the country was divided, with a UN-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west, and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

The latter’s LNA launched a surprise military offensive on April 4 aimed at capturing Tripoli.

The LNA has international support from countries including Egypt and Russia.

Updated: September 8, 2019 06:16 PM

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