By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 5 December 2013:
An American teacher who worked at Benghazi International School was shot dead this morning while . . .[restrict]he was out jogging.
Chemistry teacher Ronnie Smith, aged 33, was running on Dubai Street in Benghazi’s Digadosta district when he was shot, head of the school’s governing body Dr Adel Mansouri told the Libya Herald.
Witnesses to the attack said that Smith was approached by a vehicle described as “a black Jeep.” It reportedly drove up to him and retreated several times before shots were fired from the vehicle.
Mansouri said that Smith had been shot “more than once.” He added that his body had been taken to the Benghazi Medical Centre. “We called his family and, when his body is released, we will arrange for the repatriation of the body,” he said.
A spokesperson from the American Embassy in Tripoli confirmed to the Libya Herald that an American citizen had been shot and killed today. The next of kin had been informed, he said, and an investigation had been launched.
Staff at the embassy offered their condolences to Smith’s loved ones and friends, he said.
Smith, an Arabic speaker, taught primary level students and was very popular with both staff and students, Mansouri said. He had lived in Benghazi for 13 months with his wife and their two-year old child. She had returned to America a few weeks earlier and Smith was due to join them for Christmas.
The school was still open, Mansouri said. “We do not know if this was a terrorist attack or if it was a robbery that went bad, he said, adding: “We do not give up at the first sign of things going bad.” Other international staff at the school had, however, been advised to be careful.
School holidays would in any event take place in just over a week’s time during which the situation would be reassessed, Mansouri said. He added that the school had been contacted by the Ministries of Education, Interior and Foreign Affairs to assure it of their the full support. [/restrict]