Private funeral for Kiwi slain in Libya

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 14:24 21/01/2014
Lynn Howie
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TRAGEDY: Wellington woman Lynn Howie was shot dead in Libya.
Mark De Salis
SLAIN: Mark De Salis was found dead with Howie on the beach.

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A Wellington mother of two murdered on a remote beach in Libya will be farewelled by her "devastated" loved ones in a private funeral ceremony tomorrow.

Lynn Howie, 46, was shot alongside Briton Mark De Salis, 48, as they picnicked on a beach near the city of Sabratha this month.

The pair, who had met in New Zealand last year, were shot in what was reported to resemble an execution-style killing on the beach, 65 kilometres west of Libya's capital, Tripoli.

Howie had travelled to Libya to visit De Salis, a British oil company executive with whom she had bought a house.

The Wellington health worker, who had been based for some time in England, had planned to study nursing and was a volunteer paramedic for the Wellington Free Ambulance service.

She leaves two teenage sons.

Her family issued a statement through the New Zealand police today.

"Our family has been devastated by the loss of a loved mother, sister and friend," it said. "Her unexpected passing has been difficult for everyone who knew her."

The family thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) and the police for their "outstanding" support and compassion.

The investigation into the pair's deaths continues.

A ministry spokesman said today that New Zealand authorities were checking in for regular updates from their Libyan counterparts.

New Zealanders continue to be warned to avoid travel to Libya, which remains in a fragile political state with periods of civil unrest after of the 2011 civil war.

Mfat's travel warning for the North African country remains at the "extreme" level outside of Tripoli and "high risk" within the capital because of the threat of terrorism and kidnapping.

Howie's family have requested privacy at tomorrow's funeral, which is being held for close friends and family.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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