Friday, January 3, 2014

Libya: Briton, New Zealander Couple Shot, Killed Execution-Style Near Mellitah

According to The New Zealand Herald, the motive for the killing of a Briton and his female companion from New Zealand on a beach in Libya could be criminal as well as political, investigators report.
The couple appeared to have been having a picnic near the city of Sabratha when they became the targets of an "execution-style" shooting.
The remains of the couple were found on Thursday (January 2, 2014) in the town of Mellitah.
The bodies of the Briton and the New Zealander have been taken to Tripoli for forensic examination and autopsies.
COMMENT: Officials state that they have not been able to ascertain fully what the couple were transporting at the time, and thus were unable to rule out robbery as a motive for the attack.
The murder scene at the Talil Seyahi Beach issued by local journalists at the Sabratha Media Center depicted a rucksack had been left behind near the remains of the two victims.
The footage of the crime scene, taken at night and placed on the internet for some bizarre reason depicts a man and a woman lying face down in the sand at the beach alongside a picnic basket, with food laid out on a blanket.
Sabratha, a World Heritage Site, was a popular tourist attraction in more stable times. But, like much of Libya, it has suffered from political violence since the revolution, including a series of attacks on Western targets.
A month ago a US teacher was shot and killed in Benghazi, and two basketball players, also from the US, were arrested and held by the security forces - parts of which have been infiltrated by Islamists - at the city's university.
A week ago, four US military personnel were briefly detained near Melitah, while working on an evacuation plan for US nationals in the event the political situation deteriorates.
The Melitah complex is co-owned by the Italian ENI company. Libya's energy sector, the main source of the country's revenue, has been hit by a series of strikes and clashes involving militias. But this has not, so far at least, led to the targeting of foreign workers.

As a matter of interest, the US Department of State has urged all US citizens to travel no farther than Tripoli and then only for ESSENTIAL travel. Americans are urged to avoid all other sections of Libya.

The New Zealand government apparently has no representation in Libya which means that all New Zealanders should avoid travel to Libya.

Like the US, the British Foreign Office has urged its citizens to restrict ESSENTIAL travel only to Tripoli and avoid all other sections of the country.