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IS Video Appears To Show Murder Of Christians

A masked fighter holding a gun makes a statement threatening Christians if they do not convert to Islam.

The Islamic State jihadist group has released a video purportedly showing the slaughter of around 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya, Sky News reports. The 29-minute film purports to show militants holding two groups of captives, described in text on 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 unclear 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. Bearing the logo of IS’ media arm, the video is similar to footage the group released in the past. Several Libyan jihadist groups have pledged allegiance to IS, the extremist organisation which has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq over the past year and declared an Islamic “caliphate”.

In February IS released video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. The murders prompted Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al Sisi to order airstrikes against IS targets in Libya. The new video emerged as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was making a visit to Egypt in support of the Christian minority there.

He handed over letters of condolence from the families of British terror victims to the leader of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. The letters are believed to include correspondence from the family of murdered British aid worker David Haines, and were given to Bishop Tawadros, the Pope of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.

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