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Plunged into darkness: Libya's southern, western cities face blackouts Open in fullscreen

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Plunged into darkness: Libya's southern, western cities face blackouts

Several western Libyan cities had refused terms to share out power cuts [AFP]

Date of publication: 15 January, 2017

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Western Libya was plunged into darkness late on Saturday as a blackout already affecting the south spread to the capital, Tripoli, and other major cities.

Libya's entire western region fell into darkness late on Saturday as a blackout already affecting the south spread to major cities - including the capital Tripoli - the national power company said.

Several western Libyan cities had refused terms to share out power cuts causing the power grid to collapse, the national power company GECOL said in statement, reported by Reuters. 

Libya's western border with Tunisia saw a complete blackout that spread some 900 kilometres [560 miles] to the city of Ajdabiya, the statement said.

GECOL's statement did not refer to the shutdown of a gas pipeline in Zawiya by militants nearly a week ago.

The national power company had earlier warned that the gas pipeline closure may trigger a general blackout if reserve diesel fuel supplies to the western city's power plant run out.

For months now many Libyan cities in the west and south, including Tripoli, had been repeatedly hit by lengthy power cuts.

The south had been under a general blackout for at least four days now, as harsh winter weather conditions continue.

The North African nation has made several moves in recent weeks to increase its oil production to around 900,000 barrels per day after reopening major oil fields and ports that were closed by armed groups.

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