Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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New IS Video Purportedly Shows Beheading Of Ethiopian Christians In Libya

ISIS beheading

(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.

A new IS (Islamic State) video was released on Sunday, purportedly showed the shooting and beheading of captured Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

The 29-minute video came out after Afghanistan blamed the IS for a deadly suicide attack in Jalalabad on Saturday that killed 35 people. 

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The video began showing scenes that depict the history of Christian and Muslim relations. Images of militants destroying churches and graves were shown next.

Then a masked militant, see carrying a pistol, spoke urging Christians to convert to Islam. The video then showed images believed to be of Ethiopian Christians being held captive by so-called ISIS affiliates in two places --- one in the eastern Libyan province of Barqa and the other in the southern Libya's Fazzan province. 

The film toggles in between scenes of the Christian captives being shot in Fazzan and captives being beheaded on a beach in Barqa. It remains unknown how many Ethiopian Christians were killed in the attack.  

International news organizations could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video, which was posted by the militants on their social media accounts.

A spokesperson for the Ethiopian government, Redwan Hussein, said they are closely coordinating with officials from the Ethiopian embassy in Cairo as they verify the video's authenticity. Hussein believes the hostages who were shot and beheaded are Ethiopian migrants who had left the country to travel to Europe via Libya.

Hussein said migrants try to reach Europe in search for better jobs. 

Libya had been a common stop for most African migrants who choose Europe as their destination in hopes to provide better lives for their families. 

"If this is confirmed, it will be a warning to people who wish to risk and travel to Europe though the dangerous route," Hussein said.

An official from an Ethiopian Orthodox group has condemned the killing, saying there can be no justification for such violent acts. Abba Kaletsidk Mulugeta of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church's Patriarchate Office had called the attack outrageous and totally unacceptable.

"No religion orders the killing of other people, even people from another religion." Mulugeta said.

The attack is the latest show of the Islamic State's widening range of attacks. The militant group also wanted to show the world that its self-declared caliphate is gaining strength and claiming too, that they are growing in numbers. 

In February, IS had released a similar video purportedly showing the beheading of Egyptian Christians.This attack prompted Egypt to launch airstrikes against the militants in Libya.

Due to its distance from Libya, the possiblity for Ethiopia to launch retaliatory attacks against the IS is little.  However, Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohammed Edrees had said, that remains to be an option. 

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