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Libya: 7 Christian Egyptians shot dead in east

February 24, 2014

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan security official says the bodies of seven Coptic Christian Egyptians were found in the eastern city of Benghazi, killed with shots to the head while handcuffed.

Col. Ibrahim al-Sharaa, the spokesman of Benghazi’s Joint Security Operation Room, said that the bodies were found on Monday in an area called Garoutha, 30 kilometers from the city center. The ages of the dead range between 17 and 25, he said.

Since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the government has relied on militias, many of them are Islamic extremists, to preserve order.

Last month six Egyptians diplomats and embassy staffers were abducted in retaliation for the arrest of a top Islamic militia commander in Egypt. Last year, scores of Egyptian Christians were kidnapped in Benghazi and tortured.

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