Bodies of 20 Egyptian Copts as found in Libyan city of Sirte (Photo Courtesy of Libya's interior ministry unit of counter crimes)
Libya said Friday that the bodies of 20 Egyptian Copts beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) group in 2015 have been recovered.
In a report, Libyan Al-Ahrar TV channel said Sadiq Al-Sour, the head of investigations for the Libyan attorney general’s office, said the bodies were recovered 6 October, adding that they were found handcuffed and in orange jumpsuits, a known signature of IS execution videos.
The statements from the Libyan prosecution office come nearly a week after Libya announced they arrested a key militant reportedly involved in the beheadings, which took place behind a hotel in the coastal city of Sirte in 2015.
The arrested militant, who “watched and oversaw the incident,” gave authorities details about the killings, while providing information about the whereabouts of the bodies.
In February 2015, a graphic video was posted online showing IS militants on a Libyan beach beheading 20 Egyptian Christians and vowing to fight those they described as “crusaders."
Another victim, reportedly from Ghana, was killed along with the 20 Egyptian Copts.
Less than 24 hours after the release of the video, Egypt launched airstrikes on IS hideouts in the Libyan cities of Derna and Sirte in coordination with the Libyan army.