The bodies of some of the seven Egyptians killed in a beach
outside Benghazi . REUTERS/Stringer
Seven Egyptian Christians were found shot dead on a beach
in eastern Libya after they were abducted from their
apartments, security officials and local residents said, in the
second such execution-style killing this year.
Three years after the revolution that ousted Muammar Gaddafi,
Libya's weak government and army is struggling to impose
state authority and control brigades of former rebels and
Islamist militias in a country awash with weapons.
A police officer told Reuters the bodies were found with
gunshots to the head outside Benghazi in the east, where
assassinations, kidnappings and car bombs are common and
Islamist gunmen are active.
"They were killed by headshots in execution style," a police
officer said. "We don't know who killed them."
Local residents and an Egyptian worker, who asked not to be
identified because of fears for their security, said unknown
gunmen had arrived at the Benghazi building where the
Egyptians lived and dragged them away after going door to
door asking if residents were Christian or Muslim.
Security sources confirmed the Egyptians were Christians. No
further details were immediately available about how they
were killed or whether they were shot on the beach.
No group claimed responsibility. Last month, a British man
and a New Zealand woman were shot execution-style on another
beach 100 km to the west of the capital Tripoli.
The hardline Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia is active in the
east of Libya. Its Benghazi branch is listed as a foreign
terrorist organization by Washington, which blames the group
for the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.