Wellington: A New Zealand woman found murdered with a British companion in Libya was visiting the country at the time of her death, New Zealand’s foreign ministry said Saturday, adding an investigation would be held by Libyan officials.

Libyan troops found the bodies on a beach in Mellitah, near the city of Sabratha, on Thursday. They had both been shot.

“The exact circumstance of their deaths is not yet clear and will be subject to an investigation by the Libyan authorities,” the foreign ministry statement said.

“The deceased New Zealander was normally resident in New Zealand and was visiting Libya.

“The family of the New Zealander have requested privacy and asked that no further details be released publicly.”

The ministry said it categorises most of Libya as an “extreme risk, due to the significant threat from terrorism and kidnapping and we advise against all travel”.

The woman’s British companion was said to have worked for an equipment maintenance company.

The Mellitah area houses a major gas complex run by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint enterprise of Italy’s ENI and Libya’s state-owned National Oil Company, which exports natural gas to Italy through the Greenstream pipeline.

Libya has seen growing unrest since the overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Kaddafi in 2011 and an American teacher was gunned down last month while on his morning jog.