Egypt launches second round of air strikes over Libya

29 May 2017, 04:22 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Egypt launches second round of air strikes over Libya

52-dead-in-militia-clashes-in-libya-capital

Egypt has seen a sharp rise in attacks against Christians, who represent 10 percent of the country's 91 million residents.

Egyptian military footage of pilots being briefed and war planes taking off was shown on state television.

The Egyptian President, in a televised address shortly after the attack, indicated that he had ordered quick retaliation on the militants: air raids against terrorist camps which allegedly trained the attackers of the Coptic Christians in Minya province, Southern Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah al Sisi has promised to "protect his people from the evil".

Egypt's foreign minister told his US counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Saturday that the militants who attacked a bus convoy of Coptic Christians a day earlier were trained at a camps inside Libya.

"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror camps anywhere. if it plans attacking Egypt whether inside or outside the country", Sisi said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the incident - the fourth deadly attack targeting Christians since December previous year when a suicide bomber struck a chapel next to St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 people.

The videos surfaced on social media networks on Sunday, two days after 29 were killed in the attack on a desert road south of the capital.

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Scandinavian leaders have joined the chorus of world leaders condemning the attack on Coptic Christians traveling to a remote desert monastery south of Cairo that killed 29.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the Christians, which followed a series of church bombings claimed by terror group ISIS in a campaign of violence against the Copts. The east Libyan air force said the strikes were targeting Al Qaeda linked forces.

In February 2015, the Egyptian military, in coordination with the Libyan military, carried out airstrikes against Daesh targets in Libya following the exectution of several Egyptians in Libya.

"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terrorist camps anywhere... inside Egypt, of course, or overseas", Sisi said.

In the Vatican, Pope Francis, for the second day in a row, expressed his solidarity with Egypt's Coptic Christians following Friday's attack.

Last month, two suicide bombings killed 45 Coptic Christians at churches.

In past attacks, Egypt had usually identified local jihadists as the perpetrators.



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