Egypt wants killers of its 7 Christians in Libya

Their shooting is the second such execution-style killing since the start of the year

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Egypt expects a speedy investigation from Libyan authorities after seven Egyptian Christians were found shot dead on a beach in eastern in eastern Libya, a foreign ministry spokesmen said Monday.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdul al-Ati denounced the “heinous” crime in a statement, and said Cairo “expects [Tripoli] to hand in the latest results of its investigation as soon as possible and bring those accused to justice.”

This is the second such execution-style killing since the start of the year.

Initial information reported by an individual who escaped the scene of the killings indicates that “the incident took place Sunday between 10:30 and 11 pm when gunmen stormed one of the buildings where Egyptians lived. They entered the first floor and took eight citizens,” he added.

The spokesman said that the foreign minister is “following up with Libyan authorities over the killing of the seven Egyptians in Jroutha village in Benghazi.”

Meanwhile, a police officer told Reuters the bodies were found with gunshot injuries to the head outside Benghazi in the east, where assassinations, kidnappings and car bombs are common and Islamist militants are active.

“They were killed by headshots in execution style,” a police officer said. “We don’t know who killed them.”

A local resident and an Egyptian worker, who asked not to be identified because of fears for their security, said unknown gunmen had arrived at the Egyptians’ Benghazi home and dragged them away the night before.

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

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.

(With Reuters)

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