A New Zealand woman and a British man shot dead in Libya were found with their luggage outside a major gas and oil company's complex near Tripoli.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was last night working with Libyan authorities to establish the woman's identity.

She was found dead alongside a man, thought to be from Britain, on Thursday. The pair were shot to death and their bodies were on a beach outside the Mellitah Oil and Gas complex, about 100km west of Tripoli.

They were lying next to their luggage when they were found, and their belongings were intact.


It is not known why the pair were killed. Some reports said they were teachers, and others said they worked at the Mellitah complex.

Last night, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman could not give any further information.

"MFAT is aware of reports that a New Zealander may have been killed in Libya," he said. "We are working with the relevant authorities to confirm this.

"The bodies have not yet been formally identified and the next of kin have not yet been informed."

The British Government was also looking into the incident.

"We are urgently seeking further information from the authorities," a British Foreign Office representative said.

It is understood the bodies have been taken to Tripoli.

A control room operator at Mellitah Oil and Gas said the two worked for the company.

"There is no exact information about where they were working," he told APNZ.

He had been told they had jobs at Mellitah.

"I haven't seen an English man or a New Zealand woman here before, but they have told us that they have jobs at Mellitah."

The operator said he did not know why the pair had been killed.

"The thing that we know is that both of them died. We don't know also the reason ... "

He said the killings had made foreign and local workers at the complex afraid.

- Staff reporter and APNZ