Egypt hits militants in Libya after attack on Christians

28 Coptic Christians, including ten children, were killed in a shooting attack on a deserted road about 62 miles northwest of the city of Minya, Egypt on Friday and at least 23 others were injured, some critically.

Two deadly church bombings in Alexandria and Tanta took more than 45 lives in April, and almost 30 people were killed in the Daesh-claimed attack on a church in the capital Cairo in December.

Egypt launched a fresh round of air strikes over Libya on Saturday, Egyptian military sources and an eyewitness told Reuters, targeting militant camps it said were responsible for a shooting spree that killed dozens of Egyptian Christians.

In response, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said late Friday that Egyptian jets carried out airstrikes on a bases in Libya purportedly used by militants who carried out the killings.

In December, an attack on a Coptic church in Cairo killed 25 people.

And one by one, the gunmen, who had lain in wait for the convoy to appear, shot them dead, killing 29 people. This is the fourth such attack on Coptic Christians since December.

Francis led thousands of people in prayer Sunday for the victims, who Francis said were killed in "another act of ferocious violence" after having refused to renounce their Christian faith.

Three children survived the bloodbath. The IS claimed responsibility and vowed more attacks in the future.

The Egyptian Cabinet said in a news release that 13 victims of Friday's attack remain hospitalized in Cairo and the southern city of Minya where the attack took place.

In the statement Trump condemned all terrorists who "engaged in a war against civilization" and expressed his anger over the "merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt".

But many Copts complain that the Egyptian authorities are not doing enough to protect them, says the BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made the remarks on Saturday during a meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Some high-profile Muslim entities in Egypt were among the first to condemn the attack, which occurred the day before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The jihadists appeared to be in no hurry as they perpetrated the massacre, according to a priest and a relative of one survivor.

The officials cited witnesses as saying they saw between eight and 10 attackers, dressed in military uniforms and wearing masks.

  • Leroy Wright