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October 7, 2017 | Libya

Libya says remains found of Copts beheaded on beach

AFP
The remains have been found of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, an interior ministry unit announced.  By - (AL-FURQAN MEDIA/AFP/File)
The remains have been found of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, an interior ministry unit announced. By - (AL-FURQAN MEDIA/AFP/File)

Tripoli (AFP) - The remains have been found of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, an interior ministry unit announced on Saturday.

"The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire," said the ministry's centre for fighting organised crime in the city of Misrata.

It said the bodies of 20 Egyptians and a man of unknown African nationality were unearthed from a mass grave south of the one-time jihadist bastion of Sirte, 450 kilometres (280 miles) east of Tripoli.

Friday's find came after confessions by Islamic State group jihadists being held prisoner, it said in a statement, adding that the remains had been transferred to Misrata for forensic examination.

The unit, which answers to the interior ministry of Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord, did not give a date for the possible repatriation of the remains for family burials.

IS posted a video on the internet in February 2015 of the gruesome beheadings, sparking international condemnation and Egyptian air strikes against jihadist targets in Libya.

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