Al-Azhar slams beheading of Croatian citizen in North Sinai
Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek whom was kidnapped by Islamic State affiliate in Egypt- Reuters
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CAIRO: The killing of a Croatian citizen at the hands of Egypt’s Islamic State affiliated in North Sinai is “vile and criminal,” Al-Azhar said Wednesday, strongly denouncing the beheading of Tomislav Salopek.

On Wednesday, the Sinai Province militant group posted still images of Salopek beheaded, while Croatian Prime Minster Zoran Milanovic said he could not confirm the death of the Croatian hostage.

Foreigners in Islamic countries may not be assaulted and must live peacefully among Muslims until they return safely to their home countries, even if they were from the country of an enemy, as long as they were allowed into the Muslim state for work, tourism, treatment, or any other reason, undersecretary of Al-Azhar Abbas Shouman said in statement Wednesday.

This “devilish” act is not condoned by any religion of human norms, and is categorically forbidden in Islam, Al-Azhar, the Islamic world’s most prestigious religious institution, said in its statement, expressing condolences to the Croatian people.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Philip Hammond said in a statement released by the British embassy in Cairo that his country stands by Egypt against “terrorism,” denouncing the execution and expressing his condolences.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, North Sinai’s militant group emerged in 2011, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014.

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