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Libyan coast guard has blocked a rescue operation for people shipwrecked in the Mediterranean, aid agencies reported. Accordingly, fire was opened in the air.


Charities SOS Méditerranée and Sea-Watch accused the Libyan coast guard of blocking the rescue of dozens of people in distress Saturday by shooting into the air.

SOS Méditerranée said the Libyan Coast Guard threatened the crew of the rescue ship “Ocean Viking” with firearms and then “brutally” captured 80 people in distress in international waters.

Sea-Watch: ‘Ocean Viking’ threatened by the Coast Guard

Civilian emergency call network Alarm Phone had previously transmitted the distress call of a boat in distress in international waters off Libya to the SOS Méditerranée rescue ship “Ocean Viking”. On its way to an emergency at sea, a Libyan coastguard patrol boat appeared and “dangerously” approached the rescue ship.

SOS Méditerranée said all attempts to communicate by radio with the Coast Guard from the “Ocean Viking” bridge had gone unanswered. The crew of the patrol boat became increasingly aggressive, threatening to use firearms and began firing into the air.

Sea-Watch: People fell out of rubber dinghy

Faced with the threat to the safety of the crew, the “Ocean Viking” drove away as the Libyan Coast Guard continued to fire into the air. Nonprofit Sea-Watch observed the danger at sea from a civilian surveillance plane and posted a video on Twitter.

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Source: ZDF

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