Islamic State group in Libya reportedly executes two Tunisian journalists

An official with the Tunisian Embassy in Washington, D.C., told UPI the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to verify the claim.
By JC Finley  |  Jan. 8, 2015 at 4:45 PM
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TUNIS, Tunisia, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Two journalists from Tunisia have reportedly been executed by an Islamic State group in Libya.

IS posted a photo online Thursday showing the journalists, Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, walking with an armed man who was clad in camouflage with a scarf over his face. A statement posted to jihadist websites claimed IS had "applied the law of Allah" against the two reporters, who IS said were involved in fighting religion and spreading corruption.

Chourabi, a host and producer of Tunisia's First TV, and Ktari, a photographer, disappeared in September 2014 while on assignment in Libya to report on the border region with Tunisia. They were abducted on Sept. 3 and released on Sept. 7 following the intervention of Tunisia's ambassador to Libya, but were abducted again the following day.

Reporters Without Borders expressed concern about the two men shortly after their second abduction.

"Like Chourabi and Ktari, many journalists have unfortunately been abducted in Libya since it descended into its current state of all-out security chaos. This is the latest in a grim series of acts of violence against media personnel," Barbara Neault, the group's bureau chief in Libya, said at the time.

Both First TV and the Tunisian government said they have not yet confirmed the deaths.

"The journalists' execution have not yet been verified," Houssem Abbes, a First Secretary at the Embassy of Tunisia in Washington, D.C., told UPI. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said, was working to verify the information and was "in touch with our embassy in Libya."

The claimed execution of the journalists comes a day after three armed men launched a deadly attack against the office of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris, killing 12.

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