Frenchman dies after shooting in Libya's Benghazi

12th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French government said Thursday that a Frenchman was shot dead in the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi and four other French nationals arrested by police during the same incident.

"During a police check in Benghazi last night, five French nationals were detained," the foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday evening.

"One of them was wounded by a bullet and died overnight in a hospital in Benghazi" while the other four remain in detention, it added, confirming a report by a doctor at the hospital.

"Around 2 am (2400 GMT Wednesday) a French citizen wounded by bullets in the abdomen was brought to us. We tried to revive him several times... but he died," Dr Shawg Najem said at Jalaa hospital.

A security officer at the hospital told AFP the Frenchman, who had taken a bullet to the back, was already dead when he reached the hospital and rebels had found him lying face down on Hawari street, near a cement factory.

"He had $400 and his French passport," said Mahmud Enbeg, who added that the Frenchman was 49 years old without identifying him by name.

Neither European sources nor rebel officials were immediately able to provide any details on the incident, which was the first violence of its kind in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

Former French soldiers had been seen in Benghazi seeking security contracts.

© 2011 AFP

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