Libya detainees admit killing local TV crew and Tunisian journalists

Published April 30th, 2015 - 08:26 GMT
Two Libyans and three Egyptians have reportedly admitted responsibility for the killings. (AFP/File)
Two Libyans and three Egyptians have reportedly admitted responsibility for the killings. (AFP/File)

Tripoli says five detainees have admitted to killing five crew members of a local television network, who had been abducted last August.

Libya’s internationally-recognized government said in a statement on Wednesday that the detainees, two Libyans and three Egyptians, had “admitted their responsibility in the murders of the Barqa television team.”

During interrogation, the men also said they had killed Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, who had gone missing in September last year. Takfiri militants had previously claimed responsibility for the deaths of the journalists.

This comes days after government representatives said the bodies of missing Barqa TV crew members thought to be those of editor Khaled al-Sibihi, presenter Yunes al-Mabrouk al-Moghrabi, reporters Abdelsalam al-Moghrabi and Yussef al-Qumudi, and Egyptian video editor Mohamad Jalal had been found near the city of Bayda.

Reports say the men were kidnapped after being stopped at a checkpoint.

Following the announcement, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid chaired a crisis meeting and met with the parents of the Tunisian journalists to offer Tripoli’s “solidarity.”

Tunisian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Touhami Abdouli also said that diplomatic efforts were underway to verify the information.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), journalists and reporters are being targeted by armed groups in Libya.

Insecurity remains high in Libya, four years after the 2011 uprising against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The ouster of Gaddafi gave rise to a patchwork of heavily-armed militias and deep political divisions.

The country has been the scene of numerous clashes between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government and rival factions, which refuse to lay down arms.

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