CAIRO — An image circulating online Wednesday showing a beheaded body is stoking fear that the remains may belong to Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek.
Croatia’s foreign ministry said they could not confirm Salopek’s death, but the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic will be addressing the nation later in the day.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in a statement that she is cancelling all her pre-arranged activities on Wednesday.
Last week, video surfaced showing a man who identified himself as Tomislav Salopek and said his captors would kill him if Egypt did not release Muslim women in prison in the next 48 hours.
SITE Intel Group reports a photo of Salopek’s beheading body was posted in Twitter. To see that image, which is graphic and disturbing, click here.
France’s GCC Ardiseis in Egypt, the subsidiary where Salopek worked as a surveyor, says it has no immediate confirmation of his killing.
A company official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters, says Salopek was abducted last month on the Oasis Road, west of Cairo.
There has been speculation about where the militants held the Croatian hostage, with some reports focusing on restive Sinai, the base of the IS affiliate.
But an Egyptian security official says the likelihood of that is small since Salopek was snatched near Cairo at a time when Egyptian forces are at their highest readiness in Sinai and the Red Sea area surrounding the recent inauguration of the extension to the Suez Canal.
He says all security agencies have been working on Salopek’s case and that they have no way to confirm the killing. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.