Tripoli, 28 April:
Lebanon impounded a ship today, Saturday, discovered to be carrying arms from Libya including rocket-propelled grenades. It is said . . .[restrict]they were destined for the Syrian opposition.
The vessel, named by army officials as Lutfallah II, sailing under a Sierra Leonean flag, was seized in the Lebanese port of Selaata along with its 11-man crew. They were taken to Beirut for questioning. The army said the weapons were found in three containers. It released photos of the containers and contents.
The boxes were stamped as coming from Libya. One had “Tripoli/Benghazi SPLAJ” on it, another “Misrata”. One was labeled as containing fragmentation munitions.
Libya has supported the uprising against the Assad regime in Syria but has said it would not provide it with arms.
In early March Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, claimed to have evidence that the Libyan authortieis were training Syrian opposition fighters, a claim Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib refuted.
The director of Tripoli port, Hassan Juwaili, said that the vessel, which he named as Lutfallah 5, registered in Tanzania, had arrived in Tripoli on 25 March laden with cement and left without a cargo on 1 April for the port of Iskenderun, Turkey. He pointed out that it only takes no more than a week to sail from Tripoli to Iskenderun, indicating that the ship had probably docked elsewhere to take onboard the weapons. [/restrict]