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Friday 20 April 2018

Islamic State 'threatens to kill Croatian hostage' in Egypt

Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek seen in a purported Islamic State video (Militant website/AP)
Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek seen in a purported Islamic State video (Militant website/AP)
The video was circulated on social media

A purported Islamic State (IS) video has threatened to kill a Croatian hostage if Egyptian authorities do not release "Muslim women" held in prison within 48 hours.

The threat comes a day before the country plans to unveil a highly promoted new extension of the Suez Canal.

The video, circulated on social media by Islamic State sympathisers, shows a man wearing a yellow jumpsuit kneeling in the desert before a knife-wielding masked man in military fatigues.

An IS flag flutters next to him and the video identifies it as coming from the IS affiliate in Egypt's lawless Sinai Peninsula.

Reading calmly from a note in English, the man identifies himself as Tomislav Salopek, a married, 30-year-old father of two, adding that IS fighters captured him on July 22.

If Egyptian authorities do not act, he said, "the soldiers from Wilyat Sina will kill me". Wilyat Sina is the Arabic phrase for the Egyptian group calling itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State.

It was not clear where the video was shot. Nor was it exactly clear who the militants wanted released.

Egypt, a majority Muslim country, now holds thousands of Islamists and suspected supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group in prison. That follows the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

Croatia's Foreign Ministry late last month said that one of its nationals with the same initials had been kidnapped in Cairo while on the way to work. The company, which Mr Salopek identified as France's CGG Ardiseis, works in the oil and gas sector and has a branch office in Cairo's leafy suburb of Maadi, where many expats and diplomats live.

The footage, entitled A Message to the Egyptian Government, was shot in the style of previous IS propaganda videos in which they threaten and behead hostages.

Press Association

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