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Libya's rebels struggle to secure cash and recognition

Oil remains at the heart of an increasingly bitter war of words between the government in Tripoli and Benghazi-based insurgents

At three o'clock in the morning on 6 January two gunshots rang out above the Maltese-registered oil tanker, Baku, as it cruised the Mediterranean just outside Libyan waters. The warning shots were fired by a Libyan navy vessel. Responding to them, the Baku turned, changing course for Malta. Later that day, Libya’s beleaguered prime minister Ali Zeidan announced on national television that the navy had engaged a tanker trying to smuggle stolen crude out of the rebel-held port, Es-Sider, and threatened severe repercussions if other tankers attempted a similar journey. “Any country or company or gang trying to send a tanker to take oil from the seized ports without coordinating with the [Nation

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