Libyan army kills mastermind behind 2015 beheading of 20 Egyptians in Sirte: LNA

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Sep 2022

The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Wednesday that it has killed ISIS terrorist Al-Mahdi Dangou, the mastermind behind the kidnapping and beheading of 20 Egyptian Christians and a Ghanaian Christian in Sirte in 2015.

File Photo: Members of the Libyan National Army (LNA). AFP


The LNA's special operations unit killed Dangou in an operation in southern Libya's Murzuk after a long pursuit, the army said in a statement.

The LNA had previously announced Dangou had been killed during raids northwest of Sebha in January 2019.

In February 2015, ISIS published a video showing the beheading of the Egyptians on a beach in the coastal city, which was under the control of the terrorist group at the time. The group was expelled from the city a year later.

A masked militant spoke during the video and mentioned Osama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader who was killed by US forces in 2011. "The sea you've hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden's body in, we swear to Allah, we will mix it with your blood."

A few hours after the beheadings, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched airstrikes against camps and ISIS hotbeds in Derna in eastern Libya. The Libyan Air Force said 40 to 50 ISIS members were killed during the Egyptian airstrikes, which were carried out in cooperation with Libyan forces.

The Libyan authorities said they found the bodies of the Egyptian Copts in October 2017 and flew them back to Cairo a few months later. Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II received the bodies at Cairo airport.

In September 2017, the Libyan Attorney General's office announced it was “dismantling” the terrorist group that carried out the operation and arrested a senior ISIS commander who supervised the killings.

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