Christians Killed In IS Video ‘Were Migrants’

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Sky News – Christians Killed In IS Video ‘Were Migrants’
Ethiopian authorities have said around 30 Christians purportedly killed by jihadist group Islamic State in Libya were likely to have been migrants hoping to reach Europe.
A 29-minute video apparently showing the killing of two groups of captives – described as “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church” – was released by the extremists on Sunday.
Government spokesman Redwan Hussein said officials were in contact with its embassy in Cairo to verify the video.
“If this is confirmed, it will be a warning to people who wish to risk and travel to Europe through the dangerous route,” he said.
Abba Kaletsidk Mulugeta, an official with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, said he also believed the victims were migrants.
“I believe this is just another case of the IS group killing Christians in the name of Islam,” he said.
“Our fellow citizens have just been killed on a faith-based violence that is totally unacceptable. No religion orders the killing of other people, even people from another religion.”
In the video, a masked fighter brandishing a pistol makes a statement threatening Christians if they do not convert to Islam.
It then switches between footage of one group of around 12 men being beheaded by masked militants on a beach, and another group of at least 16 men being shot in the head in a desert area.
Ethiopia has caused anger among Islamic extremists over its military attacks on neighbouring Somalia, where the population is entirely Muslim.
The militant in the video at one stage references these military attacks, saying: “Muslim blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is not cheap.”
The footage is similar to a video released in February, which showed 21 captured Egyptian Christians being beheaded on a Libyan beach.
Egypt responded by launching air strikes on the group’s suspected positions in Libya. It is unclear whether Ethiopia will seek military action.
Several jihadist groups in Libya have pledged allegiance to IS, which has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq as part of an Islamic “caliphate”.
On Sunday, the US-led coalition said Kurdish forces had recaptured 11 villages in Iraq’s Kirkuk province from IS militants after days of intense fighting.
Iraqi troops, backed by Shia militias and US-led air strikes managed to force out IS from Tikrit earlier this month.