Dec 28, 6:46 AM EST

Libya FM calls oil region clashes serious escalation

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Libya FM calls oil region clashes serious escalation

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CAIRO (AP) -- Libya's foreign minister in the internationally recognized government says extremist groups are escalating their attacks in his country, including a renewed push to control oil resources, calling for concerted international efforts to stem the flow of money and weapons to them.

Fighting has erupted around Libya's largest oil terminal, Sidra, which is currently under the control of anti-Islamist militiamen allied with the internationally recognized Tobruk-based government. It followed an announcement from the rival Tripoli-based government in mid-December to "liberate" Sidra. The clashes have forced the shutdown of the Sidra terminal, and set storage tanks there ablaze.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri, speaking Sunday in Cairo, called the clashes a serious escalation. He said troops loyal to his government hope to fend off the attack, in which terrorist groups are involved.

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