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Libya to Return Bodies of 20 Egyptian Christians Beheaded in 2015

Libya will return the bodies of 20 Egyptian Christians killed in 2015 by the Islamic State in its former stronghold of Sirte, a Libyan security official said.

The bodies of the Egyptian Christians were recovered in October after the area where they were buried was recaptured from the jihadist militant group.

The Coptic Christians were beheaded on a beach in February 2015 while wearing orange jumpsuits, according to a video posted by Islamic State.

The bodies will be flown from the western city of Misrata to Egypt, a Libyan official confirmed, adding that one of the victims was from Ghana.

Islamic State took control of Sirte in 2015 and lost the city late last year to local forces backed by U.S. air strikes.

Libya has been dogged by conflict since the October 2011 killing of former long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s death created a political and administrative void that jihadist militia and human trafficking groups took advantage of.

The conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions others, and peace remains elusive.

The country is however scheduled to hold an election later this year, one the international community hopes will not only stop the conflict, but also unify the country.

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