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Mayor of Libya’s Misrata kidnapped, killed

The mayor of Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city, has been abducted and killed shortly after returning from a foreign trip.

Mohamad Eshtewi’s body was found dumped in the street, security sources said on Monday.

He had been kidnapped by unknown assailants upon leaving the airport in the western coastal city late Sunday.

The mayor was returning from a trip to Turkey when his car was ambushed by the abductors.

The city hospital said it had received Eshtewi’s body bearing gunshot wounds. His brother was also with him in the car and was wounded in the incident.

A security official said it was unclear who was behind the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing from any of the active armed groups in the area.

The port city of Misrata, with about 400,000 people, is about 200 kilometers east of the capital, Tripoli, and lies on the Mediterranean coast.

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when its long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, was ousted, and rival militia groups and factions started vying for power and territory.

Misrata had been relatively calm until now. It is one of the few places where foreign businesspeople, who fear poor security elsewhere, have presence.

Despite the peace in Misrata, the port city has not been immune to deadly terrorist attacks.

In October, a bomb blast at Misrata’s court complex left four people dead and more than 40 others injured.

The attack was claimed by the Takfiri terror group Daesh.

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