Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - In a press conference held on Thursday 28 September Libyan General Prosecutor Al Sadiq al Sour reported that the place where the dead remains of the 21 Coptic Christians slaughtered by jihadists of the sedicent Islamic State ( Daesh) in 2015 has been identified. According to the Prosecutor, the operations have already begun to dig in the area where the common pit is situated. The possible finding of what remains of the bodies of the victims is linked to the arrest of a man accused of taking part in that massacre claimed by jihadists with the spread of a macabre video that showed the stages of collective decapitation. Prosecutor Al-Sadiq al-Sour also indicated a beach adjacent to a hotel in the town of Sirte as the place where the massacre took place, and added that also the operator who filmed the scenes seen in the video has been identified.
The news of the possible finding of the 21 bodies quickly bounced back to Egypt, generating great emotion especially in the Coptic communities of the region of Minya, where most victims of the massacre came from. The family members of the victims immediately contacted the Egyptian Foreign Ministry for confirmation, and demanded that mortal remains of their martyrs, already celebrated as martyrs, soon return to the country to be buried at the churches and chapels that have already been named after them.
The 21 Egyptian Copts had been kidnapped in Libya in early January 2015. The video of their decapitation was shown on jihadist sites on February 15th. Just a week after their brutal act, Orthodox Catholic Patriarch Tawadros II decided to register the 21 martyrs in the Synaxarium, the book of martyrs of the Coptic Church, establishing that their memory was to be celebrated on February 15 . "The video depicting their execution – said after the massacre Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Catholic Emeritus Bishop of Guizeh – had the intention of spreading terror. During their barbaric execution, the victims repeated 'Lord Jesus Christ'. The name of Jesus was the last word on their lips. As in the passion of the first martyrs, they put their trust in Him who would soon receive them. And so they celebrated their victory, the victory that no executioner can take away from them". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/9/2017)