LONDON -- A British power engineer found shot to death in Libya this week was officially identified Saturday.
The British Foreign Office released a statement on behalf of his family identifying the victim as Mark De Salis. He had been working for the last six years as a power manager for First Engineering, a Britain-based company bringing generators to Tripoli to provide electricity.
The statement said the family was “shocked and devastated to hear about Mark’s death .... Mark enjoyed his work in Tripoli and like the Libyan people. Mark enjoyed traveling and had traveled extensively. He was a decent and incredibly loyal man and he was loved by many. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. ”
De Salis’ body was found Thursday close to that of a New Zealand woman who had also been shot. She has not been identified but was described in the statement by De Salis' family as “a close friend from New Zealand who was also killed, and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”
The couple were found lying in the sand near Mellitah, a coastal town about 60 miles west of Tripoli, the capital. There is a large power complex partly owned by the Italian engineering company ENI in the area.
According to a report in the Guardian, the couple’s luggage and a Toyota car parked nearby had not been touched.
A British Foreign Office statement posted Friday appealed to Libyan authorities for cooperation.
“Our chargé d’affaires has raised the shooting with the Libyan authorities and we are liaising closely with them on follow-up,” the statement said. “We call upon the Libyan government to carry out a thorough investigation into this tragic incident and to continue to do all it can to bring to justice the perpetrators of this appalling crime, as it strives to build strong rule of law in Libya.”
Initial news reports had identified both victims as teachers. Ronnie Smith, an American teaching in Benghazi, was shot and killed there a month ago while running.
Stobart is a news assistant in the Times' London bureau.