Libya Shooting: Kiwi Woman, British Man Killed on Beach, Initial Investigation Ongoing

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By Reissa Su | January 3, 2014 3:55 PM EST

A Kiwi woman and British man were reportedly killed in western Libya. New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is checking details of reports concerning the deaths in Libya.

Reuters
A view of the Mellitah Oil and Gas Complex, near Tripoli, in November, 2013. REUTERS

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According to Reuters, the two were found dead with gunshot wounds near the coastal area of Mellitah, 100 kilometres west of Tripoli where a large gas and oil complex is located. The complex is owned by Italy's ENI.

Authorities discovered the bodies next to each other near their luggage. A security source told Reuters that their luggage remained intact and nothing was stolen. However, the motive for the murders remains unclear.

The Kiwi woman and the Briton reportedly worked in the oil and gas complex. In an Associated Press report, the two were teachers in Tripoli. The Foreign Office in Britain is also on the case. The British agency is aware of the deaths of two foreign nationals in Libya. A Foreign Office spokesman stated that they were seeking more information from authorities.

A person working as control room operator at Mellitah Oil and Gas said the two were working for the company. The operator told APNZ he doesn't have exact information about the nature of their work but the Kiwi woman and British man only said "they have some jobs at Mellitah." According to the operator, he doesn't have any idea why the two had been killed.

Initial investigation

The identities of the two bodies found in Libya were not released pending an investigation by authorities. In an initial report sourced by CNN, the two were having a picnic in a remote part of a partially built beach resort.

On the Facebook page of the Sabratha Media Center, a photo of the alleged bodies showed a man and woman lying face down. A spread out blanket, food and drinks were seen next to them. CNN has not confirmed the authenticity of the photo but the Sabratha Medical Center said it "obtained" the photo.

The police also found tire marks in the vicinity based on initial reports.

The shooting incident came after a month when an American teacher was gunned down in Benghazi. In a separate incident, two Americans were reportedly detained by the Libyan army in their headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi. Several army and security forces revealed the information to Reuters. The teachers were arrested within the Benghazi University campus.   

Two years after the ouster of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, the current government continues to struggle in controlling militias that have gone out of control. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A view of the Mellitah Oil and Gas Complex, near Tripoli, in November, 2013. REUTERS
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