Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with Libyan authorities to finalise the procedures of transferring the remains of 20 Egyptians who were killed by the Islamic State (IS) group in February 2015 in Derna, eastern Libya, according to a statement.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptians Abroad Khaled Yousry Rizk said in the statement that the Egyptian authorities have started maneuvers since the Libyan authorities’ announcement of finding the remains and arresting members of IS who participated in the incident.
Rizk added that the ministry is also in contact with the Coptic Church to arrange the burials, as well as to brief the victim’s families on all these arrangements.
The statement added that the Egyptian Embassy in Libya is following up with the Libyan Presidential Council and the Libyan government on the latest updates of the investigations that are being taken with the suspects accused of carrying out the incident.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church said on Sunday that Pope Tawadros II is following the news about the uncovering of remains of the victims. The church said that the remains will be buried in their village Al-Our in Minya governorate in a chapel carrying their names, according to a spokesperson.
On Friday, the Libyan Prosecutor General said in a statement that the remains of the 20 nationals were uncovered.
The victims, mostly workers, were filmed during the beheading, and Egypt responded by launching airstrikes on specific targets in Derna, where it was believed to belong to IS.
Since the start of the conflict in Libya, a number of Egyptians have been kidnapped or killed in action as several factions are fighting over the vast territories. Diplomatically, Egypt has supported the Libyan National Army and has called on different factions to converse, hoping for reconciliation and unity against militant groups.