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Reuters, Published January 02 2014

Two Americans arrested in Benghazi

TRIPOLI, Libya – Two Americans were arrested in the eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday, Libyan security sources said, while a Briton and a New Zealander, both with gunshot wounds, were found dead in western Libya.

The security situation has deteriorated in recent months in the North African country where the government is struggling to rein in militias and tribesmen who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The two Americans were being held by the Libyan army at its headquarters in Benghazi, several security and army sources said.

Both were basketball players and were arrested on the campus of Benghazi University, one security source said.

“They were arrested by university guards and then brought by special forces to the army barracks,” an army source said.

A State Department official said the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli was aware of the reports of the arrests and was working to obtain additional information but could not make any further comment because of privacy considerations.

The bodies of the Briton and New Zealander “were found near the coastal area of Mellitah,” one source said, referring to a large oil and gas complex about 60 miles west of Tripoli. Both were found outside the oil complex, he said.

No further details were immediately available.

A spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office said, “We are aware of reports that the bodies of two foreign nationals have been found in Libya and we are urgently seeking further information from the authorities.”

A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the ministry was aware of reports that a New Zealander may have been killed in Libya.