By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 1 November 2015:
Italy has denied government claims that its warships violated Libyan territorial waters off Daryanah at the . . .[restrict]weekend.
The government said that three Italian naval vessels had been spotted off the coast to the north of Benghazi early on Saturday morning. Air force commander Saqr Geroushi announced that Libyan warplanes had buzzed the intruders who had then turned away.
The Defence Ministry in Rome today insisted that none of its vessels had been close to the Libyan coast. A spokesman said “The news being spread this morning from Libyan sources about the presence of three Italian ships in Libyan territorial waters is false. All of Italy’s military ships present in the Mediterranean operate in international waters and respect the limits established by treaty”.
Italian warships are among 60 naval vessels currently taking part in Operation Trident Juncture, NATO’s largest exercise in more than a decade, which is focused on the Mediterranean.
It is widely assumed that European warships on migrant patrol have on some occasions sailed into Libyan waters to rescue passengers from sinking migrant craft.
Meanwhile there are unconfirmed reports tonight that an Italian cemetery and church in Tripoli have been vandalised. [/restrict]