Samalout Diocese to hold mass marking 1st anniversary of Copts killed in Libya
Isis beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya in February 2015. Reuters.

CAIRO: The Diocese of Samalout will hold a memorial mass on Feb. 16 to mark the first anniversary of the 21 Egyptian nationals beheaded by Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya, Youm7 reported.

The mass will be preceded by sermons and daily masses for several days with the participation of a number of bishops and priests from the Saint Mark Diocese. Public figures, statesmen and members of diplomatic missions in Egypt are expected to attend the mass.

On Feb., 15, 2015, militants of the Islamic State have released a video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya’s city of Sirte. Most of the victims are from Al Aour village located north of Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya.

The victims traveled to Libya, among the thousands of Egyptians seeking work there but they were dragged off by militants in December 2014 before they were killed. The video showed them in orange jumpsuits on a Libyan beach, forced to kneel with a masked, knife-wielding militant standing behind each, and then beheaded.

Hours later, The Egyptian warplane struck Islamic State group targets in their main stronghold in Libya’s Derna. In a show of support, President Abdel Fatah al Sisi visited the pope of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Christian Church Tawadros II at the main cathedral in Cairo, while former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab visited Al Aour and met with grieving families.

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