TRIPOLI, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Libya's eastern-based army, led by General Khalifa Haftar, on Thursday announced taking over of the oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sidra in the oil crescent region and expelling the terrorist groups there after a sudden military attack.
"Our armed forces have taken full control of the entire Ras Lanuf and Es Sidra oil ports, and now perusing the enemy in the west (of the area)," army spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari posted on his Facebook page.
"The forces caused the enemy heavy losses of lives and equipment, and took over large quantities of weapons and ammunition," Mesmari said.
A terrorist group called Benghazi Defense Brigades, allied with Ibrahim Jathran, a wanted ex-chief of the oil installation guards service, last week launched an attack on the Libyan oil crescent region and clashed with the army forces there.
Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) evacuated all employees from the area, declared force majeure in the two large oil ports, and announced that the attack caused losses of 240,000 barrels of oil.
NOC also warned against an environmental disaster due to damage of oil tanks.
The oil crescent region, located some 500 km east of the capital Tripoli, contains the country's largest oil ports.
The UN Mission in Libya condemned the attack, warning that "this dangerous escalation puts Libya's economy in jeopardy and risks igniting a widespread confrontation."