A video released by the Islamic State today appears to show the killing of two different groups of captured Ethiopian Christians by the group's Libyan affiliates. The 29-minute online video purports to show militants holding two groups of captives. It says one group is held by an ISIS affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by an affiliate in the south calling itself the Fazzan Province. A masked fighter brandishing a pistol delivers a long statement, saying Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran. The video then switches between footage of the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach. It was not immediately clear who the captives were or when they were captured. It was also not clear how many were killed.
The video bore the official logo of ISIS media arm al-Furqan and resembled previous videos, including one in February in which ISIS militants in Libya beheaded 21 captured Egyptian Christians on a beach. ISIS has been able to gain a foothold amid the chaos in Libya, where two governments backed by rival alliances of militias are battling each other as well as extremist groups. ISIS is also advancing in Iraq, where the extremists captured three villages near the city of Ramadi in western Anbar. More than 90,000 people have fled ISIS' advance in Anbar, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today. "Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing—food, water, and shelter," said the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. "Seeing people carrying what little they can and rushing for safety is heart-breaking." (Read more ISIS stories.)