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Television crew 'killed by Islamic State in Libya'

Five journalists who were members of a Libyan television crew are reported to have been found dead in the country's east. "Islamic State" (IS) militants are suspected of carrying out the killings.

"Islamic State" (IS) militants

have slit the throats of five journalists working for a Libyan TV station in the eastern part of the country, according to Reuters.

The news agency reported that a military official confirmed the deaths of the reporters, who had been missing since August.

They disappeared after leaving the eastern city of Tobruk, where the elected parliament meets, to travel to

Benghazi

.

Their journey took them through the Islamist militant stronghold of Derna.

District army commander, Faraj al-Barassi, told Reuters that

militants loyal to IS

were responsible for the killings.

Their bodies were discovered outside the city of Bayda, which is the temporary home of Libya's internationally-recognized government.

"Five bodies with slit throats were found today in the Green Mountain forests," he said, but didn't indicate when the journalists were thought to have been killed.

It's believed the reporters - four Libyans and one Egyptian - had been working for the Barqa TV network, which supported federalism for eastern Libya.

Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said they had been kidnapped at an IS checkpoint and had died recently.

"We are deeply shocked by this brutal slaughter," said IFJ president Jim Boumelha. "ISIS (Islamic State) aims to horrify, but we can only feel great sorrow and further resolve to see the killers held responsible for their crimes."

Forces allied with Libya's recognized government had been battling Islamist fighters for almost a year in Benghazi

IS has seized large swathes of Syria and northern Iraq in a bid to create a caliphate, or Islamic republic.

lw/gsw (Reuters, AP)

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