Libyan gas complex attacked by militants

May 21, 2013 at 5:37 AM

TRIPOLI, Libya, May 21 (UPI) -- Militants stole as many as 20 military vehicles when they raided the Mellitah oil and natural gas complex in western Libya, a military leader said.

Sources in the Libyan military told the Libya Herald that several soldiers guarding the Mellitah facility were injured during an attack by unknown militants. Attackers took about 20 vehicles from a western military battalion, the sources said.

The Libyan news service reports that gas production at the Mellitah complex wasn't affected by the attack. There was no damage to the complex, which pumps about 600 million cubic feet of natural gas to Sicily through the 335-mile Greenstream pipeline.

The Libyan military took control of security at the Mellitah complex near the country's west coast following clashes with militants in March. Libyan authorities have struggled to maintain security since the 2011 civil war.

The facility is run through a joint venture between Italian energy company Eni and Libya's National Oil Corp.

Italy received nearly 10 percent of its natural gas from Libya's Greenstream pipeline before civil war began in February 2011.

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