The ship, flying the Comoros flag and owned by Ukrainian interests, was strafed with 30 mm ammunition west of Zuwarah.
A video posted on Saturday ont he coastguard's Facebook page shows being firing at the tanker, which starts to list heavyily and capesize. The ship spilled very significant volumes of diesel in the processç
''The coastguard wanted to send a clear message to traffickers ... to smuggling vessels ... to all those who dare to touch (the resources of ) the Libyan people in the future,'' the navy said.
Many ships and seafarers have been targeted around Libya's coastline since the country entered a bitter civil war six years ago.