Jan 12, 11:20 AM EST

Islamic State affiliate in Libya claims abduction of 21 Egyptian Christians

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Islamic State affiliate in Libya claims abduction of 21 Egyptian Christians

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CAIRO (AP) -- A Libyan affiliate of the Islamic State has claimed the abduction of 21 Coptic Christians and released pictures of the captives.

The claim and photos were posted Monday on jihadi forums used by Islamic State supporters. The Egyptian workers were seized last month in the central Libyan city of Sirte.

"The soldiers of the Islamic State in the province of Tripoli hold captive 21 Christian crusaders," the photo caption read.

Abu Makar, an Egyptian priest from the workers' hometown of Samalout, in southern Egypt, confirmed that the pictures are of the captives. A Coptic activist, Magdi Malak, said that he met with families of the captives and that they confirmed the authenticity of the pictures.

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