Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 October 2020

Egypt strikes at Libyan ‘terror camps’ after attack on Christians

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi addresses the nation after meeting security officials over the attack on Coptic Christians in Minya province on May 26, 2017. The Egyptian Presidency via Reuters
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi addresses the nation after meeting security officials over the attack on Coptic Christians in Minya province on May 26, 2017. The Egyptian Presidency via Reuters

Minya, Egypt // Egypt launched six air strikes on militant camps in Libya on Friday after masked gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people.

Assailants in three pickup trucks attacked the bus as it was heading for the Saint Samuel monastery in Minya province, more than 200 kilometres from Cairo, before fleeing, the interior ministry said.

It was the latest attack on Copts after ISIL bombed three churches in December and April, killing dozens of Christians.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, in a televised address, said Egyptian forces had hit a militant training camp in retaliation.

State television reported six air strikes against “terror camps in Libya”, specifying that the camps hit were in the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Witnesses there reported four strikes by a single aircraft.

“Egypt will not hesitate in striking terror camps anywhere, either inside or outside it,” Mr El Sisi said.

Addressing US president Donald Trump, Mr El Sisi said: “You have said that your priority is to confront terrorism, and I trust you are capable of doing that.”

In a statement released in Washington, Mr Trump said: “The bloodletting of Christians must end, and all who aid their killers must be punished.

“Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilisation, and it is up to all who value life to confront and defeat this evil.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility for attacking the bus.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: May 27, 2017 04:00 AM