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Tanker Returns to Greece After Libyan Fighter Bombing Kills Two

Greek Tanker Araevo

Greek Tanker Araevo

A Greek-owned tanker that was bombed Sunday by the Libyan military fighters was headed home Tuesday with two dead mariners.

The Liberian-flagged Araevo was struck twice by a Libyan fighter while at anchor at the Libyan port of Derna,

The attack killed a 29-year-old Greek engine cadet and a Romanian crew member and injured two others currently being treated in Libya, according to a report in IHS Maritime.

Greek officials have condemned the action and have demanded retribution from the Libyan government.

Representatives of ship owner Aegean Shipping Management told IHS was the tanker was traveling at reduced speed and was bound for Piraeus, Greece.

At the time, the Libyan government claimed that the ship was transporting terrorists to Derna and was illegally attempting to access the port.

“The ports of Derna and Benghazi were closed, and we have cautioned all oil tankers not to get close to these ports,” Libyan government spokesman Ahmed Bu Zayad Al-Mismari said in a report in the Maritime Reporter.

The Libyan military said it was not told of Araevo’s presence and, “treated it as a dangerous and suspicious target that threatens national security,” and regretted the loss of life, the Associated Press quoted a military spokesman.

Libya’s recognized government is currently at odds with a loose collation of rebel groups — currently operating from the capitol Tripoli — that claims ownership of the oil terminal in Derna.

The back and forth between the internationally recognized government — currently based in Tobruk — and the rebels has fostered confusion in the country’s oil industry. Both claim control over Libya’s national oil industry.

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Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.