The flow of oil from the Es Sider Oil Field to the Mediterranean port of Hariga was halted by an explosion on the pipeline that connects the two on Tuesday 26 December 2017. The explosion occurred about 30 km to the north of the Marada Oasis in Al Wahat District, and has been claimed as an act of deliberate sabotage by the Benghazi Defense Brigades, a group, which in theory supports the current Government of National Accord in Libya, having previously fought against both the Libyan National Army and ISIS militants, but which has been accused of carrying out terrorist attacks by coalition partners. Authorities in Libya have yet to determine the actual cause of the explosion, noting that pipeline operators Waha Oil had a team carrying out maintenance in the area who have not yet been contacted, and that the explosion could have been an industrial accident.
Colomn of smoke over the scene of a pipeline explosion in Libya in Al Wahat District, Libya. The Libya Times.
Fighting between militia groups has occurred sporadically since the overthrow of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, as the various groups that took part in the regime change had little in common and since then have been engaged in an uneasy truce with intervals of open conflict.
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