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Six Georgian sailors aboard a shelled ship in Libya

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, May 13
Six Georgian citizens are aboard the ship, which was shelled near Libya. They are sailors on a Turkish ship, Tuna One.

The attack occurred near the port city of Tobruk. Initially the ship was attacked from the sea and then came under fire from the air.

According to the latest news, one individual was killed and several members of the crew are wounded.

According to Georgian sailor Gocha Shervashidze, all of the Georgian citizens are currently safe but the attack was very intense and their lives were in imminent danger. He stated that there has not been any assistance from the Turkish side.

The families of the affected say that the sailors are in a terrible condition and have neither food nor water. They are urgently asking the government for help.

The Marine Transport Agency of Georgia stated that there is no reason to panic.

According to the Head of the Marine Transport Agency of Economy and Sustainable Development, Mamuka Akhaladze, none of the Georgians citizens were affected during the attack.

“One citizen of Turkey died but there have been no Georgian casualties. The ship is damaged but is still seaworthy,” he stated.

The Marine Transport Agency of Georgia stated that the ship is near the Greek island of Crete. They say that everything is being done to return the Georgian sailors home safely.

The Turkish company-owned vessel was carrying cargo from Spain to Tobruk, Libya.

The Turkish foreign ministry condemned the attack on the ship, saying that it was shelled as it approached the nearby Mediterranean port of Tobruk and then was attacked from the air as it tried to leave the area.

"We strongly condemn this contemptible attack which targeted a civilian ship in international waters and curse those who carried it out," the ministry said in a statement, adding that Ankara had protested to the authorities in Libya.

According to the forces of Libya's internationally recognized government, the cargo ship was targeted about 10 miles from the coast after it was told not to break a ban on approaching the eastern city of Derna, Libyan military spokesman Mohamed Hejazi said.

The forces of Libya's internationally recognized government have said they will hit any ships approaching Derna to stop supplies getting to Islamist militants based there.