Forces loyal to Libya’s internationally recognized government said on Monday they shelled a Turkish ship off the Libyan coast after it was warned not to approach, and one crew member was killed in what Turkey described as a “contemptible attack,” Reuters reports.
Libya is in a state of violent factional chaos with two rival governments backed by various armed groups vying for control of the oil-producing North African state including its ports, four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
The dry cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast on Sunday after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi told Reuters.
The forces of Libya’s internationally recognized government have said they will hit any ships approaching Derna to stop supplies getting to Islamist militants based there.
The Turkish foreign ministry said the vessel was shelled as it approached the nearby Mediterranean port of Tobruk and then attacked from the air as it tried to leave the area.
The third officer on the Cook Islands-chartered Tuna-1 vessel died and other crew members were wounded in the attacks, according to the Turkish statement.