Tripoli : In what looks like an Islam versus Christianity fight, the Islamic State jihadist group on Sunday released a video purportedly showing the executions of some 30 Ethiopian Christians captured in Libya.
The 29-minute video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives, described in a text on the screen as “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church”.
A masked fighter in black brandishing a pistol makes a statement threatening Christians if they do not convert to Islam.
The video then switches between footage of one group of about 12 men being beheaded by masked militants on a beach and another group of at least 16 being shot in the head in a desert area.
It was not immediately clear who the captives were or exactly how many were killed.Before the killings, the video shows purported footage of Christians in Syria explaining how they had been given the choice of converting to Islam or paying a special tax, and had decided to pay.
The video bore the logo of IS’s media arm and was similar to footage released in the past, including of a group of 21 Coptic Christians, mainly Egyptians, beheaded on a Libyan beach in February. IS has persecuted minorities including Christians and its executions of the Egyptian Copts prompted retaliatory air strikes from Cairo.
Egypt called for an international intervention against the jihadists in Libya but Western diplomats expressed reservations, saying a political deal must be the priority. A US-led coalition of Western and Arab nations is carrying out an air war against IS in Syria and in Iraq, where pro-government forces have managed in recent months to retake some territory seized by the group.
The group’s attacks have raised fears for Christians across the Middle East and been condemned by religious leaders. – AFP