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U.S. hands oil vessel back to Libyans

U.S. Navy SEALs intervened last week to intercept the ship at the request of the Libyan government.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   March 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM   |   Comments

March 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. military handed control over the oil tanker Morning Glory to authorities in Libya, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said.

The USS Stout and USS Elord escorted the North Korean-flagged vessel back toward Libya last week. The embassy said the transfer occurred in international waters off the northern coast of Libya without incident.

"We have been assured by the government of Libya that the captain, crew members, and Libyan nationals who were aboard the stateless tanker will be treated humanely in accordance with internationally recognized standards of human rights," the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said Sunday.

Morning Glory was loaded with oil in mid-March from a rebel-held port in eastern Libya. U.S. Navy SEALs intervened last week to intercept the ship at the request of the Libyan government.

No shots were fired in the incident.

Morning Glory's ability to leave port despite a Libyan blockade led to members of the Libyan Parliament to pass a vote of no confidence for Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Libya has struggled to reach its pre-war production level of 1.6 million barrels of oil per day in part because of eastern conflicts.

[Star and Stripes]

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