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Gunmen attack Libyan oilfield, kill eight guards: official
Unidentified gunman have attacked Al Ghani oilfield in Libya, where petroleum installations increasingly are becoming a target as various factions vie for control of the country.
Eight guards were killed in the attack, a spokesman for the national oil company said on Friday. Smoke was seen rising from the field, the official said, citing preliminary information from guards there.
Oil infrastructure is now at the heart of a conflict between two rival governments and their armed forces, who are battling to take over Libya four years after civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Fighting has closed two major export terminals since December and slashed the state's crude exports.
Islamist militants have also been gaining ground in the turmoil and have been blamed for overrunning two oilfields, Bahi and Mabrouk, in the Sirte basin. Another field, Dahra, has also been the site of clashes between Islamist militants and oil security forces.
Libya declared force majeure on 11 oilfields in its central region earlier this week after halting production there because of deteriorating security.
Last month, gunmen killed 12 people south of Sirte, among them two Filipino and two Ghanaian nationals, after storming a remote oilfield. Officials said most of the victims were beheaded or shot.
Libya´s crude production is currently around 400,000 barrels per day, less than half the 1.6 million it produced before the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Gaddafi.
[Source: By Patrick Markey, Reuters, Tripoli, 06Mar15]
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