A suspected attack by Isis terrorists on Libya’s Zella oilfield on Saturday, May 18th, has left two guards killed, and four others kidnapped, reported Reuters.
The attackers struck at an entrance gate to the field, which lies near the town of Zella about 760 km (470 miles) southwest of the capital, Tripoli. They killed two guards before fleeing, the source and local residents asking not to be named told Reuters.
Isis claimed responsibility for the attack through its news agency later on Saturday May 18th.
The Zella field belongs to Zueitina Oil Company, which pumped 19,000 barrels per day on average in the last quarter of 2018 across all its fields.
An engineer told Reuters that workers at the field were safe and facilities had not been damaged.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) chief, Mustafa Sanalla, said on Saturday May 18th that continued instability in the country could cause it to lose 95% of oil production.
Speaking in Saudi Arabia ahead of a ministerial panel gathering on Sunday May 19th. of top Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and non-OPEC producers, Sanalla also confirmed the Zella oilfield attack.
Isis has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The militant group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015, but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by US air strikes.
In the last two years, the group has targeted three state institutions in Tripoli, home of UN-backed government of national accord led by prime minister Fayez al-Serraj.
Saturday's May 18th assault took place as general Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is allied to a rival administration in eastern Libya, mounts an offensive to control Tripoli.