Egypt directs airstrikes on Friday attackers' training camps in Eastern Libya
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 21:46
Egyptian fighter jets carried out strikes on Friday directed at camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed dozens of Christians earlier in the day.
Safwat Bushra, an eyewitness from Edwa - a small town which like Dayr Jarnous lies in the province of Minya that is home to a sizable Christian minority - said he saw the shooting from the road where he was driving that morning.
The air force loyal to Egypt-backed Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said it had joined the Egyptian air strikes on Friday following the attack on Copts that killed 29 people.
Trump, attending the G-7 meeting in Sicily, said the US would stand with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who vowed to strike back at the training bases of Islamic State militants suspected of waging the attacks.
The airstrikes, conducted on Friday and Saturday, were in response to a terrorist gun-attack in Egypt on Friday that killed 29 people and left at least 22 others injured. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday.
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson that the jihadists who attacked the Christian convoy had trained in Libyan militant camps. "They targeted several gatherings of terrorist elements within Libyan territory after coordinating and fully verifying all information", added the statement.
A Libyan air force statement said: "The operation was a success and the losses of the Al-Qaeda terrorists were heavy in casualties and equipment".
The group has no known connections to IS in Egypt.
But he signalled that Libya, which has collapsed into chaos after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, poses a threat, and said Egypt's military was ready to strike outside the country's borders if necessary.
Coptic Christians shout slogans during a funeral service for victims of the bus attack.
They have increasingly been under attack in Egypt. El-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following April's twin attacks, which fell on Palm Sunday.
A bomb explodes in a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria as worshippers depart a midnight mass, killing more than 20 people.
For years, Islamic terrorists have been waging an insurgency mostly centered in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, though a growing number of attacks have recently also taken place on the mainland.
The attack drew immediate condemnation from Israel.
Pope Francis, who visited Egypt in April, sent a message to Sisi saying he was "deeply saddened to learn of the barbaric attack".