AFRICA/EGYPT - DNA tests to identify the bodies of the Coptic martyrs of Libya

Friday, 3 November 2017 martyrs   middle east   oriental churches  


Minya (Agenzia Fides) - Egyptian authorities have been conducting DNA tests on the deadly remains of the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya by jihadists linked to the Islamic State, whose bodies were found in early October, buried in a coastal area in the town of Sirte.
Families of the "Libyan martyrs" have received from the Department of Legal Medicine the invitation to visit the health facilities in Minya to undergo a DNA test that will identify the individual bodies of the martyrs. Family members of the martyrs – report the Egyptian media - expressed joy and hope that this process will allow the identification of individual bodies before burial, which should take place at the church-shrine built in their memory in the village of Samalut.
On Friday, October 6, the Egyptian authorities had officially confirmed the discovery of the remains of the 21 Copts beheaded. The bodies had been found with their hands tied behind their back, and were wearing the same orange-colored tracksuits they wore in the macabre video filmed by the executioners at the time of their decapitation. Even the heads of the victims were found next to their bodies.
The video of the decapitation of the 21 Egyptian Copts was spread on the jihadist websites in February 2015. A week after the film's release, 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. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 3/11/2017)