Another Egyptian found shot dead in Libya

Another Egyptian citizen has been shot dead in the city of Benghazi, according to Libyan authorities. 

On Tuesday morning the body of 45-year-old Egyptian, Mohamed Shehata Adel, was found in the Bouatni neighborhood of Benghazi — Libya’s second largest city, in the east of the country.

According to Libyan authorities, Adel’s body was found in the early morning and his cause of death has been attributed to a gunshot wound to the head.

Adel’s death is the ninth case of murder targeting Egyptians in Benghazi within a single month.

Mailood al-Zawi, spokesperson for the Libyan Special Forces, said that unknown assailants were responsible for the murder.

Zawi told London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat on Tuesday that the victim had been transferred to Benghazi’s Galaa Hospital ahead of transportation back to Egypt.

The spokesperson for the Libyan Embassy in Cairo could not be reached for comment.

Adel’s murder comes after the execution of seven Christian Egyptian workers in Benghazi on February 24. Handcuffed and bearing bullet wounds, their bodies were found dumped on a Benghazi beach.

Libyan authorities claimed that a radical Islamist group was responsible for the deaths, which appear to have been motivated by sectarianism. In media reports, other Egyptian workers — said to be colleagues of the seven murdered Christian workers — mentioned that armed men had collected “protection money” from the victims prior to their deaths.

On March 2, Salama Fawzy Tobia, an eighth Egyptian Christian worker, was gunned down in Benghazi. He was transferred to hospitals in Libya and Egypt before succumbing to his injuries on March 15.

Investigations are still being conducted in and around Benghazi in hopes of apprehending the culprits behind the string of murders. It is not yet known which group, or groups, is behind these attacks, or if these attacks are in fact linked.  

In 2013 a number of incidents of torture, kidnapping and deportation of Egyptian Christians, accused of proselytizing, were reported.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry could not be reached for clarification regarding any of these attacks.

In light of the ongoing unrest, the Foreign Ministry has called a number of times on Egyptians not to travel to Libya, except in urgent cases.

Around 1.5 million Egyptians were employed in the oil-rich Libyan state prior to the 2011 uprisings in the region.

The number of Egyptians working in Libya is reported to have significantly decreased since the country’s February 17 uprising, which began in Benghazi, and ultimately toppled long-time president, Muammar Qadhafi.

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