Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Fires rage after jihadists attack Libya oil facilities

22 January 2016, 06:49

Tripoli - Oil facilities in northern Libya were set ablaze on Thursday as the Islamic State group launched fresh attacks to seize key export terminals, renewing concerns over the jihadists' growing influence.

Fighting broke out at dawn in the Ras Lanouf region, which along with the nearby Al-Sidra facility is one of the country's main oil export hubs, said the National Oil Corporation (NOC).

"Storage tanks filled with crude have caught fire," it said, adding that nearby high-voltage power lines and electrical towers had also been downed.

"The situation in Ras Lanouf is catastrophic for the environment," it said in a statement.

Also Read:IS attacks fuel storage tanks in Libya's major oil terminal

State news agency LANA reported that ISIS militants were behind the attack and that the storage tankers belonged to Harouge Oil Operations.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Mohamad al-Manfi, the spokesman for NOC in the east, said the jihadists had "fired rockets at the oil tanks".

"Five tanks belonging to the Harouge company are still on fire. Firefighters are at the site trying to extinguish the blaze," Manfi told AFP late Thursday.

"But we don't have sufficient means to put out the fire," he added, describing the situation as a "disaster".

The company has 13 storage tankers with a combined capacity of 6.5 million barrels at its site about nine kilometres from the port of Ras Lanouf.

 'Destroying Libya's future'

ISIS, a growing power in strife-torn Libya, has in recent weeks launched repeated attacks from its base in the city of Sirte on facilities in the "oil crescent" along Libya's northern coast.

Libya sits on estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, the largest in Africa, but production has plummeted since the country descended into chaos following the 2011 ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

Analysts have warned that ISIS seizures of major oil facilities would be a crippling blow to Libyan authorities and a major boost for the jihadist group.

Western governments have expressed fears over the attacks.

"Another attack on #Libya's oil installations in Ras Lanuf. #Daesh are destroying Libya's future economic recovery," Britain's ambassador, Peter Millett, said on Twitter, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Foreign powers have been pushing for a long-delayed political deal to resolve the political paralysis in Libya that has allowed IS to thrive.

A national unity government was formed on Tuesday under a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending political divisions that have seen the country torn between rival administrations and parliaments.

But it was unclear how much support the new government commands, especially among Libya's myriad armed groups, and whether it would be able to exert any authority.

The UN envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, on Thursday renewed an appeal for the country's political forces to stand together.

"Once again Libya's resources under terrorist attack in Ras Lanouf. Political process must urgently catch up (with) military developments," he wrote on Twitter.

'Perfect chaos'

The unity government, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has not yet been approved by either of the country's rival parliaments.

Libya's internationally recognised government and parliament are operating out of the country's east after being forced out of Tripoli by a rival administration in mid-2014.

Efforts to form a fully functioning government have been given added urgency by fears ISIS is building a new stronghold in Libya, just across the Mediterranean from Europe.

Also Read: Libyan lawmaker says unity government likely to be rejected

The jihadist group has carried out a wave of attacks in Libya, including a suicide truck bombing on a police school in the city of Zliten earlier this month that killed dozens.

As in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, the group has committed atrocities in Libya, including execution-style murders of its opponents.

Photographs posted online by the group in Sirte on Thursday showed the executions of four men shot in a public square for theft, blasphemy, heresy and belonging to forces loyal to the recognised government.

Meanwhile, the EU's counter-terrorism coordinator said ISIS's military losses in Syria and Iraq may prompt some of its leaders to relocate to Libya where they will face less pressure.

"There, for the time being, it's the perfect chaos they like," Gilles de Kerchove told AFP, in reference to Libya.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...