Libyan security forces have found the beheaded body of another Egyptian Coptic Christian, Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency reports. Discovered Mar. 2 on the outskirts of Mechili town in eastern Libya, the body was identified by his cousins as Mansour Saad Awad, who had been working at a poultry farm in the Cyrenaica area.
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) has documented the disappearance of at least 35 more Coptic Christians in Libya since Feb. 15, when so-called Islamic State jihadists released a video of the beheading of 20 Egyptian Copts and one Ghanaian Christian.
CIHRS notes that the targeting of Coptic Egyptians on the basis of their faith has escalated since the last months of 2013. CIHRS stated: “Several reported incidents of extrajudicial executions and abductions took place with no accountability measures taken to date. The large-scale nature of these incidents would amount to war crimes”.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said that more than 25,000 Egyptians have fled Libya’s deteriorating security situation since Egypt launched reprisal air strikes against IS targets in eastern Libya.