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Todd Daniels, Regional Manager for the Middle East
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A video released by militants of ISIS (or the Islamic State) appears to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians who were kidnapped from Sirte, Libya in late December and early January
International Christian Concern
International Christian Concern (ICC) condemns the brutal killing of 21 Egyptian Christians in a video released today by the media arm of the militant Islamic group known as ISIS or The Islamic State.The video titled: "A Message Signed With Blood to the Nation of the Cross" appears to be shot on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea in Northern Libya. The ISIS militants in military fatigues walk behind the captives in orange jumpsuits before forcing them to kneel, in a style that emulates the videos released by ISIS of brutal killings in Iraq and Syria.
In the video a militant issues a threat saying "O crusaders, safety for you will be only wishes," as he links the group in Libya together with the ISIS fighters who have secured their hold over a wide swath of land in Syria and Iraq. Extremist groups in Libya, and across North Africa have pledged allegiance to ISIS allowing them to advance their operations throughout the war-torn country of Libya.
ISIS had published an article in the 7th edition of Dabiq, its English language publication, showing pictures of the men and explaining that they had been taken in revenge for actions by the "Coptic Crusaders of Egypt." The publication sparked additional response by the Egyptian government who was attempting to determine the fate of these kidnapped, and also evacuate other Egyptians from Libya. International attention had been sparked about the incredible risks that Egyptians, particularly Christians were facing in Libya and an ICC petition was launched to press for greater action by the Egyptian government on behalf of both those kidnapped and others in Libya who do not have a safe way of fleeing the country.
The office of President Al-Sisi has confirmed the killing of the men and issued a call for a week of mourning across the country, Ahram reported. The identities of the 21 have not been fully confirmed, but it is believed that they 20 of them are the men taken in two separate incidents on December 30 and January 3 near Sirte, Libya, as ICC had previously reported. There also appears to be one darker skinned man among the captives, who was not known to have been abducted in the other two incidents.
ICC spoke with Kerolos Fayez, the Brother of Mina Fayez, one of those taken captive in Libya. In the phone call he was crying uncontrollably and all the family was in mourning as the worst fears of the families were confirmed in the video released this morning.
Todd Daniels, regional manager for the Middle East said, "The video released today once again demonstrates the incredible evil that is being perpetrated by militants loyal to the Islamic State. We mourn alongside of the families of those who have been killed, along with all Egyptians who saw their countrymen brutally killed, and with Christians around the world. These Islamic extremists continue to claim their inspiration for their actions from their religious beliefs and have once again committed perpetrated horrific violence in establishing their religious beliefs. We strongly urge the Egyptian government to act swiftly to provide protection for its citizens who remain in Libya and face continued threats if they attempt to flee the country. The international community must continue to take swift and decisive action to see that those who are responsible for this violence are brought to justice."
For interviews, contact Todd Daniels, Regional Manager for the Middle East: RM-ME@persecution.org
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