Italy says no military vessel near Libyan tanker incident

by Reuters
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 17:46 GMT

ROME, March 11 (Reuters) - Italy's defence ministry on Tuesday said that no Italian military vessels were near to where a Libyan military spokesman earlier said Italian ships had helped Libya's navy secure a fleeing oil tanker, a spokeswoman said.

"There were no Italian military vessels in the area," a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.

A tanker that loaded oil at a rebel-held port in the east of the country escaped the Libyan navy earlier in the day, leading to the ouster of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. A Libyan military spokeswoman later said the tanker had been fired on, damaged and secured with the help of "Italian vessels". (Reporting by Steve Scherer)