File - A Libyan oil worker, works at a refinery inside the Brega oil complex, in Brega east of Libya, on Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. (AP PHOTO/HUSSEIN MALLA)
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Armed groups demanding autonomy for eastern Libya have invited foreign companies to buy oil from ports they seized in defiance of the central government.The Libyan navy Monday said it fired warning shots at a tanker trying to load oil at the eastern port of Al-Sider, which was seized with two others by the autonomy group in August.A new army and coast guard, made up of Jathran's battle-hardened fighters, would secure the ports.Barassi said his group had nothing to do with the tanker shot at by a Libyan navy vessel Sunday on its way to Al-Sider. Tripoli has said the tanker was intending to load oil at the seized port, but Barassi said this was a "lie". Tribal leaders have sought to negotiate on behalf of the government with the group holding the ports.
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