Middle East and North Africa

Copts request return of remains of 21 killed by ISIS

Relatives of the 21 Coptic Christians killed by the Islamic State (IS) in Libya in February 2015, have made a call on Friday, to the Egyptian government to return the bodies back to Minya governorate in Egypt after Libyan prosecutors said bodies of the murdered Egyptians have been discovered in Sirte, Libya.

The families called on the Libyan government to prosecute the perpetrators of the murders when Libya’s Public Prosecution, in a statement on Thursday, that the Jihadists who beheaded the Coptic Christians have been arrested.

The families further appealed to Libyan judiciary to publicly execute the perpetrators and photographers of the butchering of the Copts. They also demanded the punishing of the social networking sites that carried the images of the killings.

Essam, father of one of the victims, Samir Isak, said he would only be satisfied if a revenge tit-for-tat punishment is given to the perpetrators and prayed that the remains of Samir will be brought back to Egypt.

Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, Ambassador Khalid Rizk, in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, said the Ministry is coordinating with Libyan for the return of the bodies. He however noted that this will take time as procedures will have to be followed.

Meanwhile, last Tuesday, Ansar Byat El Maqdus, an affiliate group of the Islamic State (IS) in the Sinai Province has released photos of five civilians it decapitated and another they killed by shooting, all of them residents of North Sinai’s predominantly Coptic Christian Al-Arish community.

Among the victims were two children and three elderly men. Reports say the six people were kidnapped five days ago from Al-Arish. The Jihadi terrorist group accused the victims of being spies and working for the Egyptian security.

The terrist group also posted names of the victims; Salem Saied Sobah and his son Saied, Shehata Hamed Selim, Mohamed Eid Abdon, Youssef Soliman Hani and Hussein Salem Soliman.

The Egyptian government has not yet made any statement regarding the killings.

The Jihadi terrorist group has made its reputation in targeting Coptic Christians in the Al Arish region forcing many Coptic Christians to flee the governorate, in February, when it attacked and killed many SA PICSChristian Copts.

Local report say the Jihadi group, in November 2016, published photos of the decapitation of two elderly men including Soliman Abu Heraz, from the El Sawrka tribe, who was nearly 100-years-old.

 

Hassan John Is West Africa Editor, GCN and a Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credits: ISIS Propaganda pictures