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Libya’s main oil refinery resumes operations

TRIPOLI: Western Libya’s main refinery resumed operations yesterday after demonstrators shut it down for a day, a spokesman said.
Essam Al-Muntasir of the Zawiya Oil Refining Company said employees were able to resume work and fuel trucks were able to leave the refinery.
“Employees have gone back inside the refinery and are beginning the process of starting up the machinery,” he said. “Fuel tanks are also able to enter and exit the refinery to transport fuel.”
A large crowd of demonstrating war veterans demanding government compensation prevented employees from entering the refinery on Thursday and fuel tanks from leaving.
Muntasir said the demonstrators were wounded veterans demanding to be sent abroad for treatment.
A similar protest in early November forced the refinery to shut down for two days, hitting fuel supplies in the capital.
Panicking Tripoli residents formed long queues at petrol stations to fill up their tanks on Wednesday night after hearing the news of the latest protest.
The Zawiya refinery, about 50 km west of Tripoli, has a capacity of 120,000 barrels per day and provides 40 percent of western Libya’s oil needs.

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