A video has been released where a mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages is done by the militants affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya.
The murder of the Christians have increased the chances that the Islamic militant group which controls approximately one third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate has set up a direct affiliate less than 500 mile from the southern tip of Italy.
In the video, one of the militants can be seen making direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to ‘conquer Rome’.
The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, all laborers hostage for weeks, rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January. However, the video does not clear if all the 21 hostages were killed.
It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group’s core territory in Syria and Iraq.
The Coptic Church and the Egyptian government based in Egypt have declared the video authentic and the former in its statement called on its followers to have ‘confidence that their great nation won’t rest without retribution for the evil criminals’.
The makers of the video have identified themselves as the Tripoli Province of the Islami State group. Also, a still photo taken out of a video was last week published in the Dabiq online magazine of the Islamic State group directing a connection between the Libyan militants and the main group.
Released last night, the video shows several men in orange jumpsuits being led a beach, each accompanied by a masked militant. The men are made to kneel and one militant, dressed differently that the others, addresses the camera in North American-accented English.
“All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes, especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together,” he said.
“The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama Bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.”
Following their words, the men are then laid face-down and beheaded at the same time.
The speaker from the militants group than pointed northward across red-stained waves and said, “We will conquerRome, by Allah’s permission.”
(With Inputs from Agencies)