AFRICA/LYBIA - “These extremists are shedding innocent blood to get more visibility” says Archbishop Martinelli

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bengasi (Agenzia Fides) - “It is not clear what these extremists really want. They would appear to be shedding the blood of innocent victims to get more visibility. Orthodox Coptic Christians have been their target for some time, especially in Cyrenaica” Fides was told by Archbishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Vicar Apostolic of Tripoli, in Libya, commenting the killing of 7 Orthodox Coptic Christian Egyptian workers in Bengasi, in Cyrenaica. According to local news agencies, on Sunday 23 February, the 7 Egyptians were abducted from their dwellings by armed men. The corpses were found the following day in an outlying area of the city. The men died of gun-wounds to the chest and the head.
“We have no more information, only what was said in the newspapers. All I can say is that the Vicar Apostolic of Bengasi has been asked to collect the bodies and hand them over to the Orthodox Coptic Christian community” said Archbishop Martinelli.
The Vicar Apostolic of Tripoli excludes any political or economic motives for the massacre. “This is the work of extremists anxious to gain more visibility”. “In this situation of uncertainty and insecurity, we are in the hands of God”, Archbishop Martinelli concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/2/2014)