Omar al-Hassi, prime minister of the Libyan rival government, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the headquarters of his office in Tripoli November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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Libya's self-proclaimed prime minister has warned that attempts by a rival government in the east to assert control over the oil industry could escalate the political conflict dividing the OPEC member state and force it to break in two.The warning by Omar al-Hassi, prime minister of the rival government, came after Thani's government claimed airstrikes on Tripoli's Mitigate airport this week, escalating a confrontation that started with an attack by Libya Dawn on a rival force in Tripoli in July.Hassi said Libya might break up if the international community allowed Thani to appoint its own NOC chairman and eventually form an eastern oil company.Hassi said Thani's government had shown it intended to control oil facilities in the eastern rump state by picking Al-Mabrook Bou Seif as new NOC chairman, since he was from the same tribe as Ibrahim Jathran, a former rebel leader who seized eastern ports for a year to press for regional autonomy.
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