02092016Tue
Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10pm

IS in Libya claims execution of 2 Tunisian journalists

The Libyan branch of the Islamic State jihadist group claimed Thursday to have killed two Tunisian journalists who went missing in September. In a statement released on jihadist websites showing images of Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, the group said it had "applied the law of Allah" against them. It was not immediately possible to verify the claim.

In the statement signed by the "communication service of the province of Barqa", the group accused the two Tunisians of having worked for "a satellite channel that fights religion". Barqa is the ancient name of a region in eastern Libya where IS is thought to have gained a foothold. A picture showed the two young men alongside an armed man in fatigues, his face covered.

Chourabi, an investigative journalist and blogger who was active during Tunisia's 2011 revolution, and Ktari, a photographer, went missing on September 8 in the eastern Libyan region of Ajdabiya. Their disappearance came after the pair, who were working in Libya without authorisation, were detained by an armed group days earlier but released. Libya has been engulfed by chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Muammar Qadhafi, with two rival governments and a host of militias now vying for territory. IS has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria, declaring a "caliphate" and committing widespread atrocities, including the beheading of Western hostages.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015