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Rights group: Islamic State executions are a war crime

February 17, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Human Rights Watch has called the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by an Islamic State group affiliate in Libya a war crime.

The New York-based international organization called Tuesday on Libya and the United Nations to catch and prosecute the militants who published a video of the beheadings on Feb. 15.

It called in a statement for the U.N. to create an investigative mechanism or appoint a special rapporteur for Libya, and for the International Criminal Court to examine the killings.

The watchdog said the murder of civilians by combatants in an armed conflict is a war crime.

It says Coptic Christians have been targeted by militants in Libya as they carry goods from Egypt.

At least three Libyan groups have pledged allegiance to IS over the past year.

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