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Italian lawmakers slam warfare at Libyan oilfield

27 novembre 2019 | 19.04
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Photo: AFP

Ruling populist 5Star Movement Senators on Wednesday condemned an "extremely serious" aerial attack that led to the closure of the El Feel oil field in southwest Libya operated by Italian energy major Eni.

"The closure of an oilfield in southern Libya operated by Eni that was targeted by armed clashes is a very grave incident," said the members of the Senate's foreign affairs committee.

"It underlines the urgent need to end a conflict that is posing an ever-more-direct threat to Italy's national interests," the statement went on.

The statement backed the United Nations mission in Libya's call for an immediate military truce in the area around El Feel "to safeguard civilian staff and the oil field's infrastructure".

Earlier, war planes from eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces carried out airstrikes, which Libya's National Oil Corporation's chariman Mustafa Sanalla said had landed at El Feel's gates and inside a housing compound used by NOC staff.

Sanalla's statement said El Feel would remained closed until the fighting ended and all military personnel withdrew from NOC’s area of operations.

Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army said its jets had bombed the positions of armed groups that attacked the oil field. The LNA air raids came after militias loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli said they had taken control of El Feel following clashes.

The 70,000 barrels per day oil field is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture between NOC and Eni. Libya is a former Italian colony.

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