Libyan Coast Guard Reportedly Shoots Italian Fisherman

The Libyan Coast Guard reportedly shot and injured a crew member of an Italian fishing vessel on May 6, Italian media reported.

Italian media reported that members of the Libyan Coast Guard fired warning shots near a pair of fishing boats out of the fishing port of Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, allegedly hitting the fisherman.

The boats were reportedly around 30 nautical miles off the coast of the northwestern Libyan city of Misrata during the incident.

Italian Mayor Salvatore Quinci said that the fisherman was injured in the arm and that the Italian navy treated and evacuated him.

Quinci also said that the incident marked the second time in a week that Italian fishing vessels have been shot at.

Italian fishing boats have frequently gotten caught up in maritime territorial disputes with Libya in recent years.

In 2015, Libya’s former leader Muammar Gadafi extended its territorial waters by 74 nautical miles out from the coast, going beyond the standards specified by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Libyan Arab armed forces responded on Twitter to the issue with the statement: “Warning. Any foreign fishing boat ( Italian , or from any other country ) entering and fishing in Libyan waters with out proper clearance will be shot at and considered a threat to our national security and sovereignty.”

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