Ronnie Smith (33) var en av få utlendinger som ikke forlot Benghazi etter sist ukes oppgjør mellom islamistiske Ansar al-Sharia og hæren. Det skulle koste ham livet. Smith ble drept mens han var ute og jogget onsdag.
Militants in the Libyan city of Benghazi claimed another American life today when gunmen shot dead a chemistry teacher while he was out jogging in an upscale residential district not far from where U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens died last year.
Thirty-three year-old Ronnie Smith was one of just a handful of Americans who have braved the risks to continue living in Benghazi following the assault last year on the U.S. consulate and a CIA annex that left Stevens dead along with three other Americans. Smith was due to return home to Texas for Christmas to visit his wife and young son.
Within minutes of the reports of his death, students of his from the International School in Benghazi tweeted about their horror at the shooting of a teacher who was “very much loved” according to the school’s principal Peter Hodge.
The head of the board governors, Adel Mansour, told NBC News that Smith, who had been teaching at the school for 18 months, was a “great guy.” He added: “He loved being in Benghazi and he loved Libya and the kindness of its people. He was looking forward to going back and being with his family but unfortunately now that’s not going to happen. He was so sweet with everyone.”
Men Smith var ikke den eneste som ble drept den dagen.
Libyan security official Ibrahim al-Sharaa says three other people were shot in Benghazi today, which has seen waves of assassinations during the past year. The others, killed in separate incidents, included an army cadet and a Special Forces soldier. Officials say they don’t know what the motive for Smith’s killing would have been and no group has so far claimed responsibility.
Last night, the head of the Presidential Guards of Benghazi, Anwar Al-Dous, survived an attempt on his life when a blast exploded underneath his car while he was driving. He lost a leg as a result of the bombing.
Statsministeren har forlangt at militsene lar seg avvæpne eller underkaster seg myndighetene, men hvem skal gjennomtrumfe kravene? Regjeringshæren er langt svakere enn militsene.
Elevene til Smith var helt oppløst av drapet på læreren. Han hadde holdt motet deres oppe.