Two foreigners shot dead in western Libya, reportedly a New
Zealand woman and a British man, appear to have been killed
next to a picnic on a beach.
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat)
and Britain's Foreign Office are both investigating the
reports, but neither has confirmed the pair's nationality.
The bodies were found with gunshot wounds near the coastal
area of Mellitah, 100km west of Tripoli, a security source
A graphic photograph purportedly of the pair, posted to the
Sabratah Media Centre Facebook page, shows their bodies lying
face-down in sand.
The bodies were separated by what appeared to be picnic
blanket laid out with food and drink. The photograph also
showed a red and black backpack.
A security source told Reuters the pair's belongings were not
stolen and the motive for their killing was unclear. Police
were reportedly investigating tyre marks found in the area.
It is understood at least one of the pair worked at Mellitah
Oil and Gas, a large oil and gas complex co-owned by Italy's
ENI. Other reports suggested the pair were teachers.
Mfat spokesman Adam Crichton said the ministry was aware of
reports a New Zealander may have been killed in Libya.
"We are working with the relevant authorities to confirm
No update was expected until tomorrow, he said.
Five New Zealanders were registered as being in Libya, he
Mfat's SafeTravel website warns of "extreme risk" to personal
security in parts of Libya "due to a significant threat from
terrorism and kidnapping and we advise against all travel".
There was a "high risk" to security in other areas, including
the capital Tripoli and the northern coastal cities of Zuwara
- near where the bodies were found.
A spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office said: "We are aware
of reports that the bodies of two foreign nationals have been
found in Libya and are urgently seeking further information
from the authorities."
Libyan police had been actively searching for the pair when
their bodies were discovered, CNN reported the Sabratah Media
Centre as saying.
It was not clear how long the pair had been missing
beforehand, the report said.
A control room operator at Mellitah Oil and Gas told APNZ the
bodies were found near Sabratah, about 74km west of Tripoli.
He said he did not have exact information about where the
pair were working, but they had "some jobs at Mellitah".
"I haven't seen an English man or a New Zealand woman here
before, but they have told us that they have some jobs at
The operator said he did not know why the pair had been
"We are waiting also, we are waiting. All of us, also foreign
people, all are afraid about that."
Britain's Guardian newspaper reported a British national
employed at the complex was missing.
The Associated Press reported the pair were both teachers and
worked in Tripoli.
The incident comes less than a month after an American
teacher was shot to death in the eastern city of Benghazi.
In a separate incident overnight, two Americans were being
held by the Libyan army at its Benghazi headquarters, several
security and army sources told Reuters.
Both were arrested on the campus of Benghazi University, a
security source said.