BENGHAZI, LIBYA - The body of a Libyan judge abducted last month by an Islamic State affiliate was found on Thursday, Libyan officials said.
Judge Mohamed al-Nemli’s body was found near the western coastal city of Misrata, said lawmaker Saad Abusharrada, adding that the body had signs of torture and a gunshot wound.
“His identity card indicated he was a judge and (Islamic State) kills judges and police people,” Abusharrada said.
Al-Nemli’s death was confirmed by the municipality of the town of Zliten, where he worked.
The judge was taken hostage along Libya’s east-to-west coastal road, residents have said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.
Islamic State fighters man checkpoints in the area and have in the past taken non-Muslims or government officials hostage there. The hostages have been exchanged for ransom or killed.
Libya is today bitterly divided between rival governments in its east and west, after descending into chaos following the 2011 civil war that ended dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, with parts of the country run by Islamic militants. A militant faction declared its allegiance to the Islamic State last year.
The U.N. envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon, has repeatedly said the international community needs a unified Libyan government it can support in order to help the North African country address its challenges.
Despite previous failures, a new round of peace talks between the warring Libyan factions is set to take place Monday in Morocco, the U.N. announced on Thursday.