Egyptian teen abducted by militants in Libya found dead

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Saturday, December 27, 2014

An Egyptian Coptic Christian teenager abducted in Libya by armed men who killed her parents was found dead, a hospital source said Friday.

Residents found the body of the daughter of the two slain doctors on Thursday evening, said the source at the Ibn Sina hospital in the city of Sirte, without giving the cause of death.

She said the girl was 13 years old. Initial reports had given her age as 18.

After murdering her parents in their home on Tuesday, the attackers took the girl but left behind two sisters, local council chairman Youssef Tebeiqa said on the day of the incident.

Tebeiqa said the attack in Sirte, home town of slain dictator Muammar Qaddafi, might have been motivated by religion as money and jewelry were not taken.

Sirte, 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of Tripoli, is in the hands of Islamist militias including Fajr Libya and Ansar al-Sharia, which the UN Security Council last month added to its terror list over links to al-Qaeda and for running Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group training camps.

Military and medical sources said Friday that 18 soldiers and a Fajr Libya militant were killed during recent clashes in Sirte. Most of the dead soldiers belonged to the 136th battalion responsible for monitoring a power plant west of Sirte.

The 136th battalion, which was able to repel the attack, is affiliated with the military, and most of its fighters are from a tribe loyal to former general Khalifa Haftar.

Haftar's forces have been fighting alongside forces from the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani to overrun Islamists from Benghazi.

Current conflicts forced tens of thousands to leave Benghazi and also caused frequent fuel, power and water shortages, increased food prices and damaged infrastructure.

Several Coptic Christian Egyptians have been killed in Libya in recent years. In February, the bodies of seven Egyptian Christians who had been shot were found near the second city of Benghazi.

The fighting in Benghazi is only one element of the turmoil sweeping the North African country. Two rival governments, each with its own parliament and army, claim legitimacy, almost four years after a NATO-backed war ended Gaddafi's one-man rule in 2011.

In August, Thani and his cabinet were forced to leave Tripoli for the east when militants from Fajr Libya seized the capital. The new rulers of Tripoli have set up their own administration, the General National Congress (GNC), which has not been recognized by the United Nations and world powers.

Amnesty International said in a report late October that both pro-government and rebel militias vying for control of western Libya are committing war crimes including torturing detainees and targeting civilians.

According to Amnesty, militias in the west showed "an utter disregard" for civilian casualties and accused them of indiscriminately lobbing artillery fire into crowded civilian neighborhoods, damaging homes and hospitals.

Thousands of Egyptians work in Libya, mainly in the construction and craft sectors.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)


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