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 Moammar Gadhafi, 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 head shots 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.
A spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry said the kidnappers had snatched eight Egyptians from their home but one had been able to escape.
SOURCE: Charisma News/Reuters