Date
22 November 2017
An image from the Islamic State video released Sunday shows militants with their Egyptian captives in Libya. Photo: AFP/Al-Hayat Media Center
An image from the Islamic State video released Sunday shows militants with their Egyptian captives in Libya. Photo: AFP/Al-Hayat Media Center

Egypt vows to avenge IS killings of 21 Christians

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that his country would respond as it saw fit to the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.

Speaking on national television hours after the release of the video, released Sunday by Islamic State, Sisi said Cairo would choose the “necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings”.

Egyptian state news agency MENA quoted a spokesman for the Coptic Church as confirming that 21 Egyptian Christians believed to be held by Islamic State were dead.

The beheadings could stiffen Sisi’s resolve in dealing with security threats from militants thriving in neighboring Libya’s chaos who want to topple his US-backed government, Reuters reported.

Egypt has denied reports in the past that it had taken part, along with its close ally the United Arab Emirates, in air strikes against militants based in Libya.

The footage showing the deaths of the Egyptian migrant workers appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria and has also beheaded western hostages.

Sisi, who met with Egypt’s top military commanders to discuss the killings, called for a seven-day mourning period, state television reported.

The Coptic Church said it was confident the government would seek justice.

Al Azhar, the centre of Islamic learning in Egypt, said no religion would accept such “barbaric” acts.

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