Benghazi port shut down

All operations have been stopped at Libya’s Benghazi port due to military operations of the Libyan army against Islamist opposing forces in the area.

“All ship movements and discharging of imports have been stopped,” an official said.

Libyans residing near the port district have been urged to evacuate in an army announcement on Sunday, according to marine insurer Skuld.

The insurer told its members with vessels at Benghazi or proceeding there that they should take all due care and keep constant contact with local agents.

Hapag-Lloyd said on Tuesday that due to the critical situation in Benghazi, Libya the company “cannot accept any cargo for Benghazi port until further notice.”

“Unfortunately the fighting is still going on and at the moment we have no information about an enhancement of the actual situation,” the company said.

On Monday afternoon, the two sides clashed at the port area with the army employing heavy artillery and tanks.

The clash resulted in a fire at the port, which was caused by a rocket-propelled grenade that hit an oil tanker, army spokesman Mohammed Hegazi told the Associated Press news agency.

It was later reported by eyewitnesses that the struck vessel was actually a navy ship.

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