Egypt blames Libya for training militants
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 02, 2017,
Jun 02, 2017, 5:40
The air force loyal to Egypt-backed Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said it had joined the Egyptian air strikes on Friday following the attack on Copts that killed 29 people.
In response to the attack, which was claimed by Daesh on Saturday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered airstrikes on militant camps in Libya; a later military statement said those who had planned and executed the attack had come from these camps.
A security guard gestures near the site of an attack that killed at least 26 people in Minya, Egypt May 26, 2017.
ISIS said on Saturday that its fighters had ambushed the Christians as they were travelling to the Saint Samuel monastery in Egypt's southern province of Minya.
The Islamic State's Amaq news agency said in a statement the group took responsibility for the attack on "crusaders", claiming 31 were killed, and another 24 were wounded.
"Egypt will not hesitate in striking any camps that harbour or train terrorist elements whether inside Egypt or outside Egypt", Sisi said in a televised address.
The jihadist training camps were hit in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, after the army gathered information that confirms the terrorists' participation in the attack.
A small caravan comprised of two buses and a truck making their way to a monastery south of Cairo were attacked by a team of 10 masked terrorists wearing military uniforms from "Sinai Province", the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State (ISIS/Da'esh) terrorist organization.
Funerals for some of the 29 victims of Friday's shootings have taken place.
It was the latest assault directed at Egypt's increasingly embattled Christian minority, following two church bombings last month that killed more than 45, also claimed by the group.
"Civilisation is at a precipice - and whether we climb or fall will be decided by our ability to join together to protect all faiths, all religions, and all innocent life".
Following the Palm Sunday bombings, Sisi declared a nationwide three-month state of emergency.
Hidalgo lamented that the Christian community in Egypt was again the target of a barbaric and cowardly attack, adding that her thoughts are with the victims and their families.
IS jihadists have threatened further attacks.
In late April, Francis visited one of the bombed Coptic churches and condemned violence carried out in the name of God.