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Pope Francis condemned the "continuing martyrdom" of Christians on Monday after 30 Ethiopians were shown being shot and beheaded in Libya on a video purportedly made by Islamic State militants. "With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya," Francis said in a message to Patriarch Abuna Matthias of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. The video, in which militants call Christians "crusaders" who are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size being shot in the head in a patch of scrubland.[IDn:nL5N0XH2KO] "I reach out to you in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia," the pope said in his message released by the Vatican.
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir at the last minute cancelled a trip to Indonesia for a summit this week, a government official said, in what would have been his first trip outside of Africa or the Middle East in nearly four years. Bashir's plan to attend the Asia-African leaders conference in Jakarta sparked protests among rights groups, who want the president to be arrested. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in 2009 accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the conflict in Darfur. Indonesia is not an ICC member.