May 14, 2018 / 6:31 AM / in 8 days

Libya to return bodies of 20 Egyptian Christians beheaded in 2015

MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Libya will return to Egypt on Monday the bodies of 20 Egyptian Christians killed in 2015 by Islamic State in its former Libyan stronghold of Sirte, a Libyan security official said.

Coffins containing the remains of the bodies of Egyptian Copts killed by Islamic State militants in Sirte are loaded to the plane to be transferred to Egypt, in Misrata, Libya May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

The bodies were recovered in October after the area where they were buried was recaptured from the jihadist group.

The Coptic Christians were beheaded on a beach in February 2015 wearing orange jumpsuits, according to a video posted by Islamic State.

Their bodies will be flown from the western city of Misrata to Egypt, a Libyan official said, adding that there was an additional victim from Ghana. A total of 21 people were beheaded in the incident.

Islamic State took control of Sirte in 2015 and lost the city late last year to local forces backed by U.S. air strikes.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami and Ayman Salhi; writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by John Stonestreet and Jason Neely

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