An Egyptian group linked to Islamic State said Wednesday it executed a Croatian citizen it kidnapped last month. It made the statement in an online message. The group, called Sinai Province, also posted a photograph of what it said was the man’s body.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said officials in Croatia could not "100 percent confirm" the death of 30 year-old Tomislav Salopek. But Mr. Milanovic said, "what we see looks horrific."
The photo shows a man's severed head lying on his body with a knife driven into sand next to it. The black Islamic State flag is in the background.
Mr. Salopek had a wife and two children. He was working in Egypt for GCC Ardiseis, a French oil and gas geology company. He was kidnapped on July 22.
Since last year, the Islamic State has beheaded or executed more than 3,000 people, many of them civilians in Iraq and Syria. The victims also include reporters from around the world, a tourist and humanitarian workers.
The Sinai Province group said Mr. Salopek was killed because of his country’s “participation in the war against Islamic State, after the deadline expired." The kidnappers had demanded that Egypt release Muslim women from its jails when they seized Mr. Salopek.
Next to the online photograph were images of Arabic language news reports. The reports included headlines such as "Croatia confirms its support for Egypt in efforts to fight terrorism and extremism."
When he was first kidnapped, Mr. Salopek was forced to read a statement saying he would be executed within 48 hours if Egypt did not release the female prisoners. The Islamic State had been demanding the releases for the past two years.
The Sinai Province is leading the Islamist insurgency in Egypt against the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The militant group has killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
VOA correspondent Ken Bredemeier reported this story from Washington. Caty Weaver wrote it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
sever – v. to cut off (something) : to remove or separate (something) by cutting
participation – n. involvement with others in doing something: the act of taking part in an activity or event with others
deadline – n. a date or time when something must be finished : the last day, hour, or minute that something will be accepted
expire – v. to end : to no longer be valid after a period of time
headline – n. the title written in large letters over a story in a newspaper
insurgency – n. a usually violent attempt to take control of a government : a rebellion or uprising