On Thursday, authorities in Libya announced they had found the bodies of a New Zealander and a Briton. Both appeared to have been killed by gunshots while at a beach picnic west of the capital of Tripoli.
The two bodies were found at Tallil Seyahi Beach, which is located just outside the city of Sabratha. The nationalities and identities of both, described as a male and female, were not released. However, the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and the UK Foreign Office said they were checking to see if the dead were citizens of New Zealand and Britain.
Officials from both countries said they were working with local authorities to confirm if the dead were citizens of their countries. The Ministry official from New Zealand said the bodies were still not identified and next of kin had not yet been notified.
Authorities at Sabratha Media Center said two foreigners had been reported missing when the two bodies were found. It is unclear how long the two had been reported missing prior to the bodies being located.
Preliminary reports by the police say the two had been picnicking in an area that was somewhat remote near a resort that was partially constructed. A picture on the Facebook page of Sabratha Media Center purports to show the two, face down on the sand with blankets and food and a backpack close by.
However, that photo’s authenticity cannot be confirmed. According to preliminary reports, tire tracks were located in the area. Investigators were trying to determine possible motives for the killings. A rise in crime has taken hold in the area of recent including a male from Libya who was killed during a carjacking.
The Sabratha beaches in and around the city limits are amongst the most developed along the western coastline of Libya. The beaches had been a popular destination for swimming and picnics amongst the foreigners in Libya prior to the 2011 uprising that eventually ousted longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.
In December, a young teacher from the United States was shot and killed while jogging in the morning in Benghazi the restive city in the east, which is the cradle of the revolt in 2011.