CAIRO  - A video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the video but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, which has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to a conflict-ridden Libya. The video, in which militants call Christians crusaders and say they are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size shot in their heads in scrubland.

Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as ‘worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church’. Libyan officials were not immediately available for comment. A senior Ethiopian official said the government was gathering information about the reported killings and would respond when it had more details. He said Ethiopia had no embassy in Libya, making it more difficult to verify the incident.

Militants professing loyalty to Islamic State have claimed several high-profile attacks on foreigners in Libya this year, including an assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in February. The killings of the Egyptians prompted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to order air strikes on Islamic State targets in Libya.

In the latest video, a man dressed in black clutching a pistol stood behind some of the victims. ‘Muslim blood shed under the hands of your religions is not cheap,’ he says, looking at the camera. ‘To the nation of the cross: We are now back again.’ The video concludes with a warning that Christians will not be safe unless they embrace Islam or pay protection money. Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and wants to redraw the map of the Middle East. It is not clear how many fighters it has in oil-producer Libya. Egyptian security officials estimate thousands of militants who share Islamic State's ideology moved from the Sinai Peninsula to Libya after the army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

Ethiopia said on Sunday it had not been able to verify that about 30 people shown in a video being shot and beheaded by Islamic State in Libya were Ethiopian Christians, but said it condemned the ‘atrocious act.’ ‘We have seen the video but our embassy in Cairo has not been able to confirm that the victims are Ethiopian nationals,’ government spokesman Redwan Hussein told Reuters. ‘Nonetheless, the Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act.’ He said Ethiopia, which does not have an embassy in Libya, would help repatriate Ethiopians if they wanted to leave Libya. Moreover, More than 90,000 people have fled their homes in Iraq's western province of Anbar where Islamic State militants have been gaining ground over the past week, the United Nations said on Sunday.

Islamic State militants have encroached on the provincial capital Ramadi, displacing thousands of families. ‘Our top priority is delivering life-saving assistance to people who are fleeing - food, water and shelter are highest on the list of priorities,’ Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Iraq, said in a statement. Iraqi forces are preparing to mount a counter-offensive to reverse Islamic State advances on the eastern edge of Ramadi after military reinforcements were sent from Baghdad, officials said. Provincial officials warned earlier this week Ramadi was in danger of falling to the militants. At least 2.7 million Iraqis have been displaced across the country since January 2014, including 400,000 from Anbar.