Italy seizes Chinese-made military drones destined for Libya

ROME (Reuters) - Italian authorities intercepted and seized two Chinese-made military drones that were destined for Libya and disguised as wind turbine equipment, Italy's customs police and customs agency said on Tuesday.

The disassembled drones were found in six containers at the port of Gioia Tauro in the southern region of Calabria, concealed among replicas of wind turbine blades, a joint statement said.

The material was impounded given that civil war-stricken Libya is subject to an international arms embargo, it added.

It appeared to confirm a report last month by Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper indicating that the interception took place in Gioia Tauro on June 18, after a tip-off from U.S. intelligence.

The material was seized from a container ship coming from the southern Chinese port of Yantian and on its way to Benghazi, an eastern Libya port controlled by military commander Khalifa Haftar, the daily said, citing "strong" U.S. suspicions.

Libya descended into chaos after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, and is split between rival administrations in the east and west.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini; editing by Mark Heinrich)