Tunisia asks Libya to investigate fishing boat shooting
TUNIS - Tunis has asked Tripoli to urgently investigate the killing by its coastguard of a Tunisian fisherman whose boat strayed into Libyan waters, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
"An official request for an urgent investigation has been sent to the Libyan authorities to determine who is responsible and to safeguard mariners' rights," a statement said.
The Libyan coastguard on Wednesday opened fire on a Tunisian fishing boat with a crew of 17 that had strayed into Libya's territorial waters, killing one sailor, the statement said.
The boat reportedly failed to heed the Libyan coastguard's orders.
The Tunisian ministry said it would ensure the safe return of the 16 other sailors still held by the Libyan authorities, who also confiscated the boat.
The incident came a day after unidentified attackers lobbed an explosive device at the residence of the Tunisian consul in Tripoli, causing some damage but no injuries.
Tunisia on Sunday gave in to a pressing demand by Libya to extradite former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, a stalwart of slain former leader Moamer Gathafi's regime, to face trial in Tripoli.
The extradition decree was not officially signed by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, causing a political crisis in the country.
The Tunisian press on Thursday said the maritime incident was further evidence of the Libyans flexing their muscle in the region.