In Italy Fishing boat seized off Libyan coast recaptured

The Italian navy said that military personnel in the area on migrant rescue duties responded to reports of the fishing boat seizure.

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play (BBC)
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A Sicilian fishing which was captured off the Libyan coast has been recaptured by the Italian navy.

BBC reports that Italian navy personnel boarded the vessel, which was taken to the Libyan port of Misrata before being released.

The Libyan coastguard said the boat was seized in "a peaceful operation" after entering Libyan waters, while a Libyan spokesman said the vessel did not have a fishing permit and had breached Libyan sovereignty.

The Italian navy said that military personnel in the area on migrant rescue duties responded to reports of the fishing boat seizure.

There were also no reports of any injuries.

The crew, which had been fishing for shrimp when they spotted who gunmen initially appeared to be militia members using an unmarked government boat, comprised three Italians and four Tunisians resident in Italy.

A spokesman for the Italian fishing co-operative told the BBC that there have been 12 such seizures by Libya since 2005.

Meanwhile, the fishing co-operative has described the incident as "an act of piracy" and said that, since the unrests in 2005, Libya has insisted that its territorial waters extend more than 112km (69 miles) off shore, much further than international agreements allow.

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