By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 12 February 2015:
Pictures purportedly of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped in Sirte over the past two months have . . .[restrict]been published in an English-language pro-Islamic State magazine entitled Dabiq showing them as if about to be executed.
Last month IS claimed it was holding 21 Egyptian Christians.
The magazine called them, bizarrely, “Coptic crusaders” and said their capture was revenge for the alleged kidnapping by the Coptic Church of Coptic women who had converted to Islam. Wearing orange jump suits, the men are shown being forced to kneel on a beach in front of men dressed from head to toe in black and holding guns to their heads, as if ready to shot them. It is not known if that happened. No bodies have been found and the publication itself talks of the Copts being “humiliated”, suggesting that the macabre pictures were a staged for propaganda purposes.
Sirte is seen as rapidly developing into a base for Islamist militias along the lines of Derna. Lastest reports say that IS has now taken over the town’s immigration department without any opposition.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry says it is investigating the fate of the men, mainly manual workers from Upper Egypt.
Two months ago, a Christian Egyptian girl and her parents were murdered in Sirte. [/restrict]