TRIPOLI - A British man and a woman from New Zealand who both worked for an oilfield maintenance firm were killed execution-style with shots to the head as they picnicked on a lonely beach in western Libya, a Libyan security official said on Friday.
The two bodies were found on Thursday in the Mellitah area, some 100 km (60 miles) west of Tripoli, near a large oil and gas complex co-owned by Italy's ENI and a residential complex, security sources said.
Libya's security situation has deteriorated in recent months as the government struggles to rein in militias and tribesmen who helped to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and kept their guns.
Few foreign companies outside the oil sector still operate in Libya, and those that do rely heavily on local staff. Others have moved expatriates to gated compounds and restricted their movements, especially at night.
Giving the first details of the incident, the security official said the Briton, born in 1965, and the New Zealander, born in 1967, had been found lying face down on the beach with gunshot wounds to their heads.
"It doesn't look like a robbery because there was no break-in at their Toyota car parked nearby. It was left untouched until we came," said the official, declining to be named.
"We found the bullets," he said, adding that the two people appeared to have been picnicking on the shore.