Libya announced on Monday that it would return to Egypt the bodies of 21 Egyptian Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2015.
The victims were killed in the former Libyan stronghold of Sirte and recovered in October after the area where they were buried was recaptured from the terrorist group.
The Coptic Christians were beheaded on a beach in February 2015 wearing orange jumpsuits, according to a video posted by ISIS.
Their bodies would be flown from the western city of Misrata to Egypt, a Libyan official said, adding that there was an additional victim from Ghana.
Three years after the kidnap and execution of the Egyptian Coptic Christians by ISIS militants, the Libyan attorney general, Siddiq Soor, agreed to return the bodies upon the request of Egypt’s public prosecutor.
According to local media sources, the head of the Interrogations Office said that Libyan authorities received the request from Egypt’s public prosecutor through the Libyan foreign ministry.
He added that the bodies were presented to forensics and DNA samples were taken.
A committee from the foreign affairs and attorney general’s office met with the Egyptian public prosecutor and handed him the forensic samples that were taken from the bodies in order for them to be identified with the victims’ families.
He confirmed that the bodies will be returned to Egypt, and that there are serious efforts in making sure that happens.
The killings, documented in a grisly video released online by the extremists in 2015, shocked Egypt and led it to launch punitive airstrikes.