Libya: Bodies of 21 Coptic martyrs have been found

Source: Fides

On Friday, October 6, the Libyan General Prosecutor officially confirmed the finding of the bodies of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded in 2015 by jihadists linked to the Islamic State (Daesh) in a coastal area in the city of Sirte. According to communication channels of the Egyptian public prosecutor's office, the bodies were found in a coastal area on the outskirts of the city, with their hands tied behind their backs and dressed in the same orange-colored suits they wore in the macabre video filmed by the executioners during their beheading. Even the heads were also found next to the bodies, and procedures are underway to identify the single victims of the massacre through DNA analysis.

At the end of September, Libyan General Prosecutor al Sadiq al Sour had announced the discovery of the site where the remains of the Christian Copts beheaded by jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh) had been buried. The identification of the burial place of the bodies had been linked by the same Attorney to the arrest of a man accused of having taken part in that massacre, claimed by jihadists with the spread of a macabre video that showed the phases of the collective decapitation.

Attorney al-Sadiq al-Sour said the person who filmed the massacre has also been identitifed.

The news of the possible finding of the 21 Coptic bodies immediately spread in Egypt, generating great excitement especially in the Coptic communities of the region of Minya, where most victims of the massacre came from. In the last few days, relatives of the 21 victims had appealed for the authorities to confirm the news.

Family members now hope and pray that the mortal remains of the martyrs will soon be returned to Egypt and their Church.

Just a week after the killings, Orthodox Catholic Patriarch Tawadros II decided to register the 21 martyrs in the Synaxarium, the book of martyrs of the Coptic Church, establishing that their memory was to be celebrated on February 15.

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