Clashes halt production at Libyan oil field

CAIRO — The Libyan national oil company says it has suspended operations at a key oil field due to fighting between armed factions.

In a statement Wednesday, company chairman Mustafa Sanalla declared the El-Fil oil field nonoperational after clashes erupted and militants allied with the U.N.-supported government attacked guards protecting the field.

The company said its facility, which pumps out 75,000 barrels a day, would resume work once the violence subsided.

The self-styled Libyan National Army says it launched airstrikes that succeeded in driving away the armed groups.

The U.N. Support Mission in Libya expressed “grave concerns” over the violence, as oil revenue is critical to war-torn Libya’s economy.

Warring coalitions of militants are backing separate authorities in Libya -- an internationally recognized government in Tripoli and forces led by Khalifa Hifter in the east.

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