An Islamic State militant holds a gun while standing behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians in Wilayat Fazzan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Libya's Foreign Minister Muhammad Dayri told reporters on Monday that he is "appalled" by the barbaric beheading of at least 28 Christians in Libya, after a video purportedly made by Islamic State was posted on social media sites.
"We are appalled at this barbaric killing of 28 Ethiopian nationals yesterday in Libya. This is not the first time that these hordes of ISIS do operate with this tragic and horrible actions in Libya," Dayri told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian-African Conference in Indonesia's capital Jakarta.
The video, in which militants call Christians "crusaders" who are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach, and another group of the same size, in an area of shrubland, being shot in the head.
Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as "worshipers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church".
Islamic State, executes Christians, threatens more war unless non-Muslims convert
Dayri said Libya has already asked for the United Nations to help equip the Libyan Army with the adequate weapons to combat terrorism in the country, but called out to the international community for further assistance.
Militants professing loyalty to Islamic State have claimed several attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including an assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.
The killing of the Egyptians prompted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to order air strikes on Islamic State targets in Libya.
"We all know that before the 28 Christian Ethiopians, we were saddened to see that 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded in Sirte on the 15th of February. This calls upon the international community to help Libya further," said Dayri.
Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and wants to redraw the map of the Middle East. It is not clear how many fighters it has in Libya, an oil-producing nation.
Egyptian security officials estimate that thousands of militants who share Islamic State's ideology moved from the Sinai Peninsula to Libya after the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.sign up to our newsletter