London confirms death of Briton in Libya

TRIPOLI Fri Jan 3, 2014 5:51am EST

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Britain on Friday confirmed the death of one of its nationals and said it was also aware of the death of a New Zealander in western Libya, but gave no details of the circumstances in which they died.

Libyan security sources said on Thursday that a British man and a woman from New Zealand had been found dead with gunshot wounds at Mellitah, 100 km (60 miles) west of Tripoli, outside a large oil and gas complex co-owned by Italy's ENI.

Libya's security situation has deteriorated in recent months as the government has struggled to rein in militias and tribesmen who have kept their guns after helping to oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

"We are aware of the tragic death of a British national in Libya," a spokesman for Britain's Foreign Office said. "We stand ready to provide consular assistance."

He added that they were also aware of the death of a New Zealand citizen, but that no further details were available.

New Zealand's Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the reports that a New Zealander had been killed and was in contact with Libyan authorities to confirm this.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith in London; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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