Ethiopia declares mourning

The Ethiopian government declared three days of mourning to start on Tuesday 21 April to honour its Christian nationals executed by Islamic State (IS) terrorists at two different locations (one by the sea, the other in the desert), both thought to be in Libya.

The videos show 12 men being beheaded in one location and 16 being shot in another. The killings are thought to have been carried out by two different factions of IS in Libya, which is where the videos were released on 19 April. The videos are similar to the one of the murder of Egyptian Copts by IS in February.

An Ethiopian government spokesman has said that the Ethiopians were migrant workers and may have been trying to reach Europe. He also added that some may have been Eritrean.

Protests have now broken out in Addis Ababa against what mourners see as the government's slow response to the killings. Anger is running high especially in the poor Ckerkos neighbourhood where are least two of the murdered men are thought to have lived. The city administration quickly deployed city and federal forces to prevent the demonstrators reaching the central Meskel Square and the parliament building.

Although parliament has been called in an emergency session there is still little information about what action it will take to protect its migrant workers. However the foreign minister has said that it will help repatriate those who want to come home.

It is feared that many more Ethiopians are being held captive by IS in Libya.

About two-thirds of the Ethiopian population is Christian.