Libya coast di­rec­tive re­flects dis­cord

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

CAIRO — The com­man­der of Libya’s self-styled na­tional army in the coun­try’s east has or­dered naval and air forces to con­front any ves­sel that en­ters the coun­try’s ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters without per­mis­sion. The di­rec­tive came af­ter Italy be­gan a naval mis­sion, at the be­hest of the U.N.backed govern­ment in western Libya, to help stem mi­gra­tion along a pop­u­lar route.

The move was em­blem­atic of un­re­solved ten­sions be­tween the two Libyan ri­val lead­ers, Field Mar­shal Khal­ifa Hifter and Prime Min­is­ter Fayez Ser­raj, who promised to co­op­er­ate at a meet­ing last week out­side Paris.

In two state­ments re­leased by Hifter’s army on its Face­book page late Wed­nes­day, Hifter sent his com­mand to the air force and to east­ern naval bases in Beng­hazi, Ras Lanuf, To­bruk, as well as to the capital, Tripoli, in the west. The com­mand, which ex­cluded au­tho­rized trade ships, was sent af­ter an Ital­ian patrol boat ar­rived off the coast.

AP/THANASSIS STAVRAKIS

A fire­fighter sprays down a build­ing Thurs­day as a wild­fire burns near Ka­lyvia, a sea­side town in Greece. Three fire­fight­ers have been hos­pi­tal­ized with burns and au­thor­i­ties have or­dered peo­ple to evac­u­ate.

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