benghazi al-qaeda flag
Protesters carry the Al-Qaeda flag as they rally against the US in Benghazi in October. (Today’s Zaman)

Two American basketball players were detained by Libyan officials in Benghazi today.
The unidentified men play for Benghazi’s Al-Hilal. reported:

A Briton and a New Zealander, both with gunshot wounds, were found dead in western Libya on Thursday, while two Americans were arrested in the eastern city of Benghazi, Libyan security sources said.

The security situation has deteriorated in recent months in the North African country where the government is struggling to rein in militias and tribesmen who helped oust Moammar Gaddhafi in 2011 and kept their guns…

…In a separate incident, two Americans were being held by the Libyan army at its headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, several security and army sources told Reuters.

Both were basketball players and were arrested on the campus of Benghazi University, one security source said.

“They were arrested by university guards and then brought by special forces to the army barracks,” an army source said.

The State Department and Britain’s Foreign Office both said they were looking into the matter.

Last Friday, four American military personnel were detained by the Libyan government and released after several hours in custody.

UPDATE: Sources say the two men were arrested in the company of two Libyans and were freed after being questioned.

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