A new Isis video shows the beheading of two men who were executed for allegedly practising witchcraft and apostasy.
The video was released via the islamists' Telegram communication channel on 28 March, Reuters reported. The beheading is attributed to the Isis-affiliated militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. They have waged an insurgency for years, carrying out attacks against security forces, tourists and local populations.
The video shows two elderly men wearing orange jumpsuits being taken out of a black van and executed in the desert. Their death sentence is read by another man: a Sharia court condemns them for "apostasy, sorcery, claiming the ability to tell the future, and leading people to polytheism."
It is not the first time that Isis in Sinai has reported the beheading of people. The Associated Press reported on 19 November the Islamist terrorists claimed responsibility for the beheading of two religious clerics. They were believed to be priests, but were later identified by locals as leading religious figures from among Sinai's Bedouins.
Isis recently intensified its attacks against religious minorities in Egypt, such as Coptic Christians and adherents to Sufism, an ancient form of Islam involving mystical rituals, as heretics and sorcerers.
Isis militants claimed responsibility for the suicide attack to the Coptic church in Cairo on 11 December, which killed at least 25 people, mostly women and children. The jihadists recently circulated "kill lists" of Christians, intimating them to leave the Sinai, and killed seven Christians in a period of three weeks, prompting a mass exodus from the Peninsula.
"Thanks be to God who has allowed the Islamic State's soldiers in Sinai in applying his law and instituting religion in spite of all the infidels, apostates and envious Jews," one fighter can be seen and heard saying in the video, quoted by Reuters.
The video also shows fighters, all of them unmasked, destroying trucks carrying cigarettes and alcohol, satellite dishes, television sets, tombs that appear to not follow Islamic burial rules, Sufi shrines, and also raiding a Sufi gathering and beating men accused of smuggling.
The Sinai Peninsula is a strategic area in Egyptian territory bordering Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal which has been unstable since the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011 and the ensuing chaos allowed insurgents to establish themselves on the territory.