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Thursday, 24 May 2018

No notice yet of return date of 20 Egyptian IS victims' bodies from Libya: Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church

Marina Barsoum , Monday 14 May 2018
Libya
Bodies of 20 Egyptian Copts as found in Libyan city of Sirte (Photo Courtesy of Libya's interior ministry unit of counter crimes)
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The secretary to Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II told Ahram Online on Monday that the church has not yet been officially notified about the planned date of return of the bodies of 20 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State group in the Libyan city of Sirte in 2015.

Media reports have been circulating that Libya will return the victims' bodies to Egypt on Monday.

"We have not been notified by officials yet about the date on which we will be receiving the bodies of the martyrs," Father Angaleos Ishak Massoud told Ahram Online.

Libyan officials discovered the bodies in October of 2017 after the city was recaptured from the IS group.

Officials were able to identify the bodies by matching DNA which had been taken from family members of the deceased.

The incident dates back to February 2015, when Islamic State group members appeared in a lengthy well-produced video while beheading the 20 Coptic workers, most of whom were from Upper Egypt's Samalut city in Minya governorate.

Another victim, reportedly from Ghana, was killed along with the Egyptian Copts.

Less than 24 hours after the video's release, Egypt launched airstrikes on Islamic State group hideouts in the Libyan cities of Derna and Sirte in coordination with the Libyan army. 

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