|Geann Pineda |||Feb 16, 2015 03:58 AM EST|
(Photo : Reuters) File photo: Men in orange jumpsuits purported to be Egyptian Christians held captive by the Islamic State (IS) kneel in front of armed men along a beach. This is a still image from an undated video made available on social media on February 15, 2015.
The Islamic terror group ISIS has released a video purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.
The video showed the Egyptians, dressed in orange jumpsuits, being walked down to the beach. Each captive was forced to kneel, before they were all simultaneously beheaded.
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The footage of the beheadings appeared on the Twitter page of a group that supports the ISIS.
It had a superimposed graphics showing the location, "Wilayat Tarabulus by the Mediterranean Sea," an indication it was filmed near Tripoli.
The five-minute video also had a caption that reads, "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church."
Moments before the beheading, one of the masked militants appeared with a knife and said, "Safety for you crusaders is something you can only wish for."
Egypt's state media reported a spokesman for the Coptic Church had confirmed the killings.
Families of the victims had earlier asked Cairo to help free their loved ones. Now, the families are overwhelmed with shock at the news of their deaths.
Hours after the video's release, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appeared on national television and warned his country will respond to the deaths through necessary means.
Sisi immediately called for a seven-day mourning period as he met with top military officials to discuss Egypt's next steps.
The United States, for its part, has condemned the killings calling it a despicable and cowardly act.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, ""ISIL's barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity."
Earnest added the latest bloodshed only gave the international community more reason to stand up and unite against the ISIS.
Thousands of Egyptians had traveled to Libya in search for jobs, following the uprising in 2011 that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
But the Egyptian government had warned its citizens against traveling to Libya, citing the security instability there.
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