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After threats from Ankara, Haftar’s militias release Turkish ship in eastern Libya

Khalifa Haftar’s militias said on Thursday they had released a Turkish-owned vessel seized last week, after threats from Ankara to target them if they wouldn’t let the medicine-carrying ship go.

The Jamaica-flagged cargo vessel, Mabouka, was let go after local authorities questioned its crew and had them pay a fine for violations of sailing rules in Libyan waters, the spokesman for Haftar’s militias, Ahmed Al-Mismari, wrote on his Facebook page.

Al-Mismari did not mention the amount of the fine, while Turkey’s foreign ministry had warned about “dire consequences” and called on the east-based militias to allow the ship to resume its planned voyage to Misrata.

The vessel was stopped on Saturday after Haftar’s militias claimed it had sailed into Libyan waters without prior permission, as Al-Mismari said earlier the crew included nine Turkish sailors – seven from India and one from Azerbaijan – and the ship did not respond to calls from the naval forces.

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