A photo has been released showing a Croatian hostage beheaded by the Egyptian offshoot of Islamic State.
Al-Bayan said that “soldiers of the Caliphate” killed Salopek, “whose country is participating in the war against the Islamic State”.
Instead of requesting money, IS demanded release of Muslim women jailed in Egypt, but did not “specify who they really wanted to be released”, Pusic said.
Salopek’s killing, if confirmed, would be the first of a foreign captive in Egypt, where the government has been struggling to project an image of stability and revive the economy following years of unrest.
After worldwide agencies reported that Salopek was probably killed, Prime Minister Zoran Milanović called an emergency press conference at which he stated that he had to break the silence on the case.
Speaking from the Adriatic city of Split, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic – who was North Atlantic Treaty Organisation assistant secretary general for public diplomacy before taking office last winter – said that Croatian authorities that as long as there is “one little crumb of a chance that Tomislav is alive, we are continuing… the search”. “Beheaded. We as believers will rise above revenge and hatred”, said the local priest Ivica Krizanovic who has been organizing prayers for Salopek.
He also says Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government tried to “legitimize itself with a supposed tough stance against home-grown militants” but that his security policy “has been a catastrophic failure”.
Exiled members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt brands a terrorist organization, said the beheading was a sign the government had failed to curb the rise of extremism.
“If we confirm that it is indeed true, we will inform the media through a statement”, he told Reuters.
Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said that Croatia’s participation in the global antiterrorist coalition was not the cause for the still unnfirmed killing of Tomislav Salopek.
He was kidnapped on July 22 by gunmen as he was driving on a road southwest of Cairo, the authorities said.
ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq while its affiliates have emerged in countries such as Egypt and Libya. That attack came two days after another bomb killed Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat in an upscale Cairo neighborhood.
Last December, the affiliate claimed responsibility for the killing of an American oil worker with Texas-based energy company Apache Corp. IS has released a number of graphic videos showing the beheading of hostages.