TRIPOLI: A video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video, but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, an ultra-hardline group that has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to conflict-ridden Libya.
The video, in which militants call Christians “crusaders” who are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size, in an area of shrubland, being shot in the head.
Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as “worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church”.
Libyan officials were not immediately available for comment.
Ethiopia said it had not been able to verify whether the people shown in the video were its citizens.
“Nonetheless, the Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein said.
He said Ethiopia, which does not have an embassy in Libya, would help repatriate Ethiopians if they wanted to leave Libya.
The United States also condemned the “brutal mass murder,” with the White House saying the killing of the men “solely because of their faith lays bare the terrorists’ vicious, senseless brutality.”
Militants professing loyalty to Islamic State have claimed several attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including an assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February.