A state of apprehension and anxiety prevails among the Copts of al-Manshaat in Sohag, Upper Egypt, some 550km south of Cairo, in the wake of news that one of the local Copts has been captured by the Islamic State (IS) in Libya. The 21-year-old Bekhit Nageh Efrank Ebeid was caught together with two other Africans as they entered Libya. The IS Barqa Province posted a photo of the young Sohagi with the comment: “In a security operation, an Egyptian crusader, a Ghanaian crusader, and a Nigerian crusader were captured”.
IS is notorious for beheading its Christian captives. Last February saw the gruesome beheading of 20 Copts and one Ghanaian, a crime to which Egypt retaliated with air strikes against IS targets in Libya.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly issued warnings against travelling to Libya, especially to areas held by IS.
18 July 2015