Date
26 July 2017
Islamic State militants stand behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians on a beach in Libya in this still image from an undated video made available on a social media website on April 19. Photo: Reuters
Islamic State militants stand behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians on a beach in Libya in this still image from an undated video made available on a social media website on April 19. Photo: Reuters

Extremist video shows Ethiopian Christians shot, beheaded

A video purportedly showing Islamist militants shooting and beheading 30 Ethiopian Christians is making the rounds of the internet.

It shows about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group being shot in the head in a shrubland, Reuters reported Monday.

Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as “worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church”.

The killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, an ultra-hardline group which has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to conflict-ridden Libya. Reuters said it is unable to verify the authenticity of the clip.

Libyan officials were not immediately available for comment and Ethiopia said it had not been able to verify whether the people shown in the video were its citizens.

“Nonetheless, the Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein said.

He said Ethiopia, which does not have an embassy in Libya, would help repatriate Ethiopians if they wanted to leave Libya.

Militants professing loyalty to Islamic State have claimed several high-profile attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including an assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.

The killing of the Egyptians prompted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to order air strikes on Islamic State targets in Libya.

In the latest video, a man dressed in black clutching a pistol stood behind some of the victims.

“Muslim blood shed under the hands of your religions is not cheap,” he says, looking at the camera. “To the nation of the cross: We are now back again.”

The video concludes with a warning that Christians will not be safe unless they embrace Islam or pay protection money.

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