ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (CBSDC/AP) — Ethiopia’s government has declared three days of mourning after confirming that many Ethiopians held captive in Libya were killed by the Islamic State group, after the group released a video on Sunday of the killings.
The government said in a statement Monday that the days of mourning will be observed starting Tuesday and that during this time the national flag will fly at half-mast.
The statement said that Ethiopia’s lawmakers will meet Tuesday to discuss the killings and consider a response.
A video believed to be released by the Islamic militants shows many Ethiopian Christians held captive in Libya being shot or beheaded by extremists. The footage, released via militant social media accounts and websites, could not be independently verified by The Associated Press. However, it corresponded to other videos released by the Islamic State group and bore the symbol of its al-Furqan media arm.
“You will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam,” the narrator says at one point in the gruesome and threatening video.
The release of the 29-minute video comes a day after Afghanistan’s president blamed the extremists for a suicide attack in his country that killed at least 35 people — and underscores the chaos gripping Libya after its 2011 civil war and the killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Redwan Hussein, an Ethiopian government spokesman, said on Sunday that he believed the victims were Ethiopian migrants trying to reach Europe.