CAIRO: Egypt has the right to respond with “the adequate means to the execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians” by the Libyan branch of the Islamic State group, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced in a televised address early Monday morning.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry will travel to the United Nations to discuss the Islamic State group and Libya, the president added, following the release of an execution video of 21 Egyptian Copts who were kidnapped in Libya in early January.
The video, published Sunday, shows the mass beheading of the 21 Copts, wearing the same orange jumpsuits they had worn in previous photos published by IS.
Sisi’s address followed his meeting with the National Defense Council, and he said “I have directed the government to stand beside the families of the victims.”
President Sisi also announced a seven-day national mourning period in respect for those murdered.
“I urge the government to continue applying the decision of banning Egyptians from traveling to Libya to protect their souls,” Sisi said, adding “I urged the state institutions to facilitate the return of the Egyptians, who want so, from Libya to their homeland.”
Although the Libyan Parliament based in Tobruk announced that the Egyptians had been killed days ago, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry refused to confirm reports of their deaths, saying it had received no proof.
“Dabiq,” and English-language publication by IS published last week, stated that the abductees were taked in revenge for two Egyptian women allegedly tortured after converting from Christianity to Islam.