Pope Francis on Monday condemned the killing of 21 Coptic Christians hostages in Libya by militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to a Vatican Radio report.
“The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out,” he told a delegation from Scotland on Monday. “If they are Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it is not important: They are Christians. The blood is the same: It is the blood which confesses Christ.”
Read More: Beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya Shows ISIS Branching Out
The hostages, believed to be laborers from Egypt, are now “martyrs,” Francis said.
The Libyan extremist group, which swears fealty to ISIS, released a five-minute video Sunday showing militants with knives killing 21 people wearing orange jumpsuits on a beach.
Egyptian authorities confirmed the authenticity of the video, and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi launched air strikes against targets in Libya hours after vowing to avenge the deaths.
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