Two sailors were killed in an attack on a Greek oil tanker at Libyan port, Derna.

DERNA – A Libyan war plane has bombed a Greek operated oil tanker ‘ARAEVO’ carrying 12,600 tons of crude oil, killing two sailors and injured two crew members at the militant controlled port of Derna.

Athens-based operator Aegean Shipping Enterprises working on behalf of Libyan government confirmed the hired vessel was damaged, but oil was not leaked out.

Colonel Ahmed Bu Zayad Al-Mesmari, a Libyan military spokesman, claimed that Libyan aircraft had to strike because instead of entering a power plant, it had entered a military zone without permission and it refused to stop.

“The tanker may have been involved with terrorists or it may have been taken over at sea by terrorists so that is why we bombed it,” Mesmari added.

However Greek government says the vessel had been at anchor in the port at the time of attack.

It condemned the attack calling it “unprovoked and cowardly”, saying: “The Greek government will take all the necessary actions towards Libyan authorities, despite the unrest, so that light is shed on the tragic incident, the attackers identified and punished and the families of the victims reimbursed.”

The bombing must be seen as a part of the Libyan civil war among the various rival factions, including the elected government, tribal forces and Islamic extremists. The country has been suffering from violence since Qaddafi’s removal in 2011. The city, controlled by Islamic militants, had declared allegiance to ISIS with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its chief in October, 2014.

Tazeen Hasan, Correspondent (Africa)

Image courtesy: joepyrek | Flickr