A North Korean-flagged tanker, the Morning Glory, is seen docked at the Es Sider export terminal in Ras Lanuf in this March 8, 2014 file photo. Picture taken March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Files
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Libyan rebels occupying oil ports clashed with troops on Saturday after attacking an army base where reinforcements were preparing for an offensive to break the blockade, local residents said.Anti-aircraft gunfire and explosions were heard late at night and again after dawn on Saturday in Ajdabiya, the hometown of rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran, whose fighters seized three ports in summer to demand a greater share in Libya's oil wealth. Brigades of former anti-Gaddafi rebels and militias refuse to disarm and often use armed force or control over oil facilities to make demands on a state whose national army is still in training.Tripoli's central government gave Jathran a two-week deadline on March 12 to end his port blockade or face a military assault, though analysts say Libya's nascent armed forces may struggle to carry out that threat.
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