Egypt says air strikes destroy militant camps after attack on Christians

Egypt's air force launched strikes on suspected "terrorist camps" in Libya after a bus attack on Christians earlier Friday, the government announced. He prayed "for our brothers, Egyptian Christian Copts who were killed because they did not want to renounce their faith".

ISIL extremists have claimed responsibility for the shootings.

"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.

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.

In a speech on national television, the Egyptian President warned terrorist organisation and said that he will order strike at any base that train militants.

Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire.

The assault happened while the bus was travelling to Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Maghagha, in the Minya governorate, about 220 km south of Cairo, security officials said.

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"The fact that this happened so deep within Egypt suggests to me that the bases of operations of these kinds of attacks are not over the border in Libya, but are actually within Egypt", Tarek Masoud of Harvard University told Al Jazeera.

Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen says "we are united in fighting terrorism" and added Saturday that those behind it were "primitive terrorist criminals".

Friday's attack followed two suicide bombings of churches in April that killed 45 Copts.

He also appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump to lead the global war against terror.

"They chose death", said Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government's handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt.

In December an IS suicide bomber attacked another church in Cairo, killing 29 people. The president told Pope Towadros II, leader of the Coptic church in Egypt, that the state would not rest easy until the perpetrators of the attack were punished.

IS jihadists have threatened further attacks.

  • Michelle Webb