Daesh releases video of beheading kidnapped Egyptian workers

Published February 15th, 2015 - 07:52 GMT
Daesh claimed to have kidnapped the 21 Coptic Egyptians in January. (AFP/File)
Daesh claimed to have kidnapped the 21 Coptic Egyptians in January. (AFP/File)

ISIS (Daesh) released a video Sunday claiming to have killed 21 Egyptian Christians who were captured in Libya, Reuters reported.

The Egyptians were wearing orange jumpsuits, being forced to the ground by militants dressed in black, and beheaded on a beach. The five-minute video had a caption that read, "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church."

The video first appeared on the Twitter feed of a Daesh sympathizer's website, Reuters said. Daesh claimed to have captured the Egyptians in Sirte in January. 

Daily News Egypt reported the Libyan parliament confirmed the Egyptians' deaths Saturday, when a Daesh-affiliated English publication called "Dabeq" released photos of the victims.

The Egyptian government said it “will spare no effort for the kidnapped,” according to Daily News Egypt.

“The government renews its commitment to spare no efforts to protect its sons and defend their rights, despite hardships and dangerous complications in Libya,” Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said.

The Copts Coalition in Egypt issued a statement Friday that called on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the foreign ministry to protect its citizens abroad, Daily News Egypt reported.

The coalition's coordinator told Daily News Egypt Daesh's actions against the Christians were in retaliation for two women whose high-profile cases incited mass protests in Egypt. The women were allegedly Coptic Christians who converted to Islam and were kidnapped by the Coptic Church. 

Kamilia Shehata, the wife of a Coptic preacher, allegedly disappeared shortly after her conversion to Islam. Wafaa Constantine was reportedly taken into solitary residence in one of the church's monasteries.

Thousands of Egyptians have fled their home country since the uprising in 2011 in search of jobs in Libya, according to Reuters, despite government warnings that Libya is one of the most dangerous countries in the region.

This is a developing story; please check back for more updates.

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