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American teacher is shot and killed in Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya -- An American chemistry teacher was shot to death while out jogging Thursday, according to colleagues and officials at the English-language school where he taught.

The shooting took place not far from the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens died, along with three other Americans, in an attack in September 2012.

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Administrators at the International School identified the teacher as Ronnie Smith, 33, from Texas, who had arrived in Libya late last year. Libyan hospital officials cited by the Associated Press said he died from gunshot wounds after being attacked in an affluent central district.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing, which follows a weeks-long surge in violence in Benghazi. Militia groups have been battling security forces and one another, and assassinations have been a regular feature of the fighting.

The city was the nurturing ground for the uprising against longtime dictator Moammar Kadafi, who was killed in 2011.

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Twitter: @laurakinglat

Special correspondent Juma reported from Benghazi and Times staff writer King from Cairo.

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