CAIRO (Reuters) - The closing of Libya's oil ports is "a huge step" by the Libyan people, the spokesman of Libyan forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Friday.

Spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said that "the Libyan people are the ones who closed the oil ports and fields, and prevented oil exports." He added " we have to protect our people ... and not allow anyone to threaten the Libyan people."

A source at state oil firm NOC told Reuters on Friday that oil exports from eastern and central Libyan oil ports would be shut from Saturday, as ordered by the Libyan National Army (LNA) faction of Khalifa Haftar, which controls east and central Libya.

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(Reporting by Ayman al Warfalli; Writing by Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Sandra Maler)