TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Gunmen killed 12 people, among them two Filipino and two Ghanaian nationals, after storming a remote, Libyan oilfield, a Libyan official said on Wednesday.
“Most were beheaded or killed by gunfire,” said Abdelhakim Maazab, commander of a security force in charge of protecting the al-Mabrook oilfield, some 170 km (105 miles) south of the Mediterranean city of Sirte.
A French diplomatic source in Paris and another Libyan official said Islamic State militants were behind the attack, which took place on Tuesday night.
It was impossible to get more details on the incident which happened in a remote part of the turbulent desert nation.
The violence followed an assault on a hotel in Tripoli last week that killed nine people, including five foreigners, underscoring the deteriorating security situation in Libya more than three years after the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi.
The Philippines Foreign Ministry said earlier on Wednesday that three Filipinos were among seven foreign nationals who had been kidnapped in the Mabrook assault. But Maazab said eight Libyans, two Filipino and two Ghanaian nationals were killed during the raid, with nobody kidnapped.
He added that his men were back in charge of the field.
France’s Total has a stake in the site, which is currently off-line, but it is contracted to a Libyan company. The Filipinos worked for an Italian company.
Libya is in turmoil with two rival governments controlling different areas, each with their own armies. Rival armed factions have also been fighting for almost two months for control of Libya’s biggest oil ports, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, on the Mediterranean coast. The recognised government of Abdullah al-Thinni and elected parliament has had to work out of an eastern rump state since a faction called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in August, setting up its own administration and reinstating the old assembly.