Libya: 7 Egyptian Christians abducted & shot dead

March 11, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Libya

The Christians’ bodies were found on a beach on the outskirts of Benghazi

Libya, March 04, 2014: Seven Egyptian Christians were rounded up by suspected Islamist militants in Libya, taken away at gunpoint and shot dead.

Their bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs on a beach on the outskirts of Benghazi on 24 February.

A group of masked men had raided the building in which the Egyptians lived the night before. They went door-to-door asking if the residents were Christian or Muslim before abducting the seven Christians, who were aged 17-25, at gunpoint.

The victims were Talaat Seddiq Bebawi, Hani Girgis Habib, Nadhi Girgis Habib, Fawzi Fathi Seddiq, Edward Nashed Boulos, Ayoub Sabry Tawfiq and Sameh Romany.

According to Egyptian rights group Nations Without Borders, the militants spray-painted a message on the apartment building and on other buildings in the area offering a reward of 10,000 Libyan Dinars (£5,000; US$8,000) for anyone who turns a Christian over to them.

No group has claimed responsibility for the murders, but they happened in a part of the country where Islamist militants are particularly active; killings, kidnappings and bombings are commonplace.

The Libyan authorities are struggling to assert control over such brigades three years after the revolution that ousted Colonel Gaddafi.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians live in Libya, doing mostly manual labour. Egyptian Christians are being targeted.

On 25 September, Waleed Saad Shaker (25) and Nash’at Shenouda Ishaq (27) were killed by a group of Muslims after they refused to convert to Islam. The Christians were surrounded by the assailants on a rural road in Derna district. The Muslims robbed and beat them and demanded that the Christians recite the shahada, the Islamic confession of faith. When the pair refused, the attackers tied them up and shot them.

Earlier last year, Ezzat Atallah (45), who was arrested on suspicion of trying to spread Christianity in the country, died in prison on 10 March, having allegedly been tortured to death. Dozens of other Egyptian Christians were also detained and tortured.

Egyptian rights group the Maspero Youth Union said that the Egyptian government was not doing anything about the targeting of Christians either inside or outside the country.

– barnabas team

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