Mass grave of Christians killed by Islamic State found in Libya

Cross of the Martyrs. Credit: Aaron Groote via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
Cross of the Martyrs. Credit: Aaron Groote via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

.- A mass grave of 34 Ethiopian Christians executed by the so-called Islamic State group in 2015 has reportedly been unearthed in Libya.

The bodies have been exhumed and will be eventually repatriated to Ethiopia, the Libyan interior ministry says.

Libyan government authorities found the mass grave Dec. 23 after obtaining information from arrested Islamic State members. The grave appears to be located on a farm near the coastal city of Sirte, 170 miles southeast of Misrata.

Islamic State gained control of Sirte in 2015, but United Nations-backed forces regained control of the city in December 2016 after months of deadly fighting.

According to the Libyan Express newspaper, a propaganda video posted to social media in April 2015 appeared to show the Islamic State members shooting and beheading the Ethiopian Christians, who were all wearing orange jumpsuits, on a beach. The Christians were in Libya to seek work as migrant workers, according to International Christian Concern.

The 2015 incident happened just months after Islamic State members executed a group of nearly two dozen Coptic Christians; a mass grave containing their bodies was found last October.

Islamic State and other terrorist organizations are still active in Libya and retain control of parts of the country.

A suicide bomber attack on the Libyan foreign ministry in the capital Tripoli, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility, killed at least three people and injured 21 on Christmas Day. A senior Libyan diplomat was among those killed.

Tags: Persecuted Christians