A video purportedly shows Islamic militants beheading Christian hostages in Libya, The Associated Press reports


Roughly 21 Egyptian Christians who were kidnapped by the Islamic State in Libya were beheaded, according to the video. 

The video, released on Sunday, shows men in orange jumpsuits walked along a beach by a masked militant and then told to kneel before each was consecutively beheaded. 

The video was reportedly made by the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State group.  

"The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement late Sunday. “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.

“ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds,” Earnest added, using the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “It is unconstrained by faith, sect, or ethnicity. This wanton killing of innocents is just the most recent of the many vicious acts perpetrated by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against the people of the region, including the murders of dozens of Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai, which only further galvanizes the international community to unite against ISIL.”

Earnest said the “heinous” act underscores the need for a political resolution to the conflict of Libya.

“We call on all Libyans to strongly reject this and all acts of terrorism and to unite in the face of this shared and growing threat,” he said. “We continue to strongly support the efforts of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General Bernardino Leon to facilitate formation of a national unity government and help foster a political solution in Libya.”

--This report was updated at 9:56 p.m.