Turkish ship attacked as it approached Libya's Tobruk

The ship's third officer died and other crew members were wounded in the attacks

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A Turkish dry cargo ship was shelled from the Libyan coast as it approached Tobruk port and then attacked from the air as it tried to leave the area on Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The ship's third officer died and other crew members were wounded in the attacks, which the ministry condemned in a statement, saying the ship was in international waters at the time. The statement did not specify who launched the attacks.

"We condemn strongly this contemptible attack which targeted a civilian ship in international waters and curse those who carried it out," it said. Ankara had protested to authorities in Libya. There was no immediate comment from Libyan officials.

A Libyan warplane from forces loyal to the internationally recognised government bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker anchored off Libya's Mediterranean coast in January, killing two crewmen amid hostilities between factions vying to rule the oil-producing North African country.

Internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said in February his government would stop dealing with Turkey because it was sending weapons to a rival group in Tripoli so that "the Libyan people kill each other".

The cargo ship, owned by a Turkish company, was carrying plasterboard from Spain to Tobruk when it was hit 21 km (13 miles) from the port, suffering some damage, the Foreign Ministry statement said.

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