CAIRO: A statement by the Libyan Parliament announced Friday that 21 Egyptians kidnapped in Libya had been killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) branch in Libya; however, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and a Libyan parliamentarian member denied Saturday the authenticity of the reports.
In a statement issued Friday, the Tobruk-based interim Libyan Parliament announced the killing of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians whom were abducted in January 2015, and offered its condolences to the Egyptian people and government. The statement was typed by the Parliament speaker Oqila Saleh Qweidar.
However, The Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty told The Cairo Post Saturday there was no an evidence confirm the deaths.
The Islamic State group issued Thursday the seventh edition of its English-language magazine “Dabiq” showing photos of 21 Egyptian Copts allegedly kidnapped in Libya’s city of Sirte. The photos show the Egyptian nationals in orange jumpsuits and being handcuffed by masked men. Former IS hostages have been made to wear similar clothing prior to execution.
The group announced in its report that the Copts were kidnapped to “take revenge” for two Egyptian women who were allegedly tortured in an Egyptian churches over converting to Islam during former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Libyan lawmaker Fahmy al-Tawaty told Youm7 Saturday that there was no official communiqué from the parliament to confirm the killing of the hostages.
Tawaty said the statement was issued based upon IS’ publication, and noted that the parliament statement had not been signed.
Additional Reporting by Ahmed Gomaa