The following excerpts are from AsiaNews.it:
Cairo (AsiaNews) - The heart of Egypt has been both moved and devastated by the horrific beheading of 21 Egyptian citizens in Libya at the hands of jihadist allies of the Islamic State group (Daesh).
Yesterday and today, every newspaper in the country dedicated its front-page to the massacre, with titles in black and the pictures of all 21 victims, kneeling on the beach just before they were beheaded. Inside pages were full of commentaries and feature articles on the tragedy.
Although Daesh boasted of killing of Christians, in Egypt, the victims are seen primarily as Egyptians. To commemorate them, the government has decreed seven days of national mourning.
Yesterday, President Sisi personally met with Coptic Patriarch Tawadros, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church and patriarch of Alexandria, to offer official condolences. Egypt's National Defence Council, chaired by the president, has been meeting for days to determine how to deal with the situation.
President Sisi announced that the 21 Egyptians killed in Libya are true "martyrs", like their fellow citizens recently killed in the Sinai. He also said that each family would receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds (about US$ 13,000), plus a regular pension and medical care for every member.
The victims came mostly all from villages in Upper Egypt and had emigrated to Libya to earn some money to get married or support their families back home.
Tawadros was joined by Al-Azhar University in denouncing "the awful crime." Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni authority, as well as the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi 'Allam stressed that Islam and the heavenly religions do not justify such crimes. The Coptic patriarch noted that the nation would not rest until the criminals were punished.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims, from different villages in Minya (Middle Egypt), have been demanding that the bodies of their loved ones be returned for burial.
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