Libya’s internationally-recognised government has claimed its warplanes have sunk one vessel and attacked another close to the coast of Benghazi.
An air force spokesman was quoted as saying that the vessel was sunk “because it had loaded fighters, weapons and ammunition to support terrorism in the eastern region,” Reuters news agency reported.
There has so far been no independent confirmation of the attacks, but several ships have come under fire under similar circumstances this year.
In May a seafarer was reportedly killed when product tanker Anwaar Afriqya was strafed while docked in the rebel-held port of Sirte.
The vessel, operated by state-owned General National Maritime Transport Co (GNMTC), was chartered by Libya’s National Oil Corporation. The internationally recognised government in exile in Benghazi claimed that the vessel was carrying reinforcements and weapons for the rival regime in Tripoli.
Earlier this month, Libyan forces bombed the 1997-built 5,100 dwt Cook Islands-flagged Tuna 1 in international waters as it approached the Port of Tobruk, killing the third officer.
Two tankers were bombed by Libyan forces in January, including the 1991-built 26,000 dwt Araevo, which is owned by Greece’s Aegean Oil. Two seafarers were killed in the attack.