Sunday, March 2, 2014

Libya: Foreigners Still Radioactive, Series of Attacks Send a Message to Visitors: "Go Away"

According to Reuters, Frenchman Patrice Real, 49, an engineer working for a company upgrading a large hospital in Benghazi, was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on Sunday (March 2). Real was shot three times.

For those who have not been following events in risk-rich Libya, particularly Benghazi, in recent months has been rocked by car-bombings and assassinations amid Islamist militant activity.

Separately, gunmen in Benghazi also shot and wounded an Egyptian who had been working in a grocery and a Libyan police officer survived an assassination attempt, a security source said.

France's foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the killing as "odious and cowardly" and calling for its perpetrators to be identified.
COMMENT: A week ago, police found seven Egyptian Christians shot dead execution-style on a beach outside of Benghazi, home to several oil firms. No one has claimed responsibility for that shooting. 

Most countries have closed their consulates in Benghazi and some foreign airlines have stopped flying there since US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an Islamist militant attack on September 11, 2012.

A US schoolteacher was also shot and killed by gunmen in December 2013, who strangely exercised while outdoors. Obviously, he was unschooled in counter-surveillance, the risk of "choke-points" and predictable patterns of behavior.

Three years after the revolution that ousted Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's weak government and army are struggling to control brigades of former rebels and Islamist militias in a country awash with weapons.

Western diplomats are still concerned  that the violence in Benghazi will spill over to the capital of Tripoli.

In January 2014, a British-New Zealander couple were shot and killed execution-style on a beach 100 km (60 miles) west of Tripoli, while having a picnic.

I strongly discourage all tourists from traveling anywhere in Libya; those working in Tripoli should contain themselves to the capital only.

Those believing that they are "safe" in Libya presumably also believe in fairy tales.