Egypt says air strikes destroy militant camps after attack on Christians

Andrew Cummings
May 31, 2017

On Friday, Egyptian military carried out several airstrikes against purported terrorist training camps in Libya after gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of the Egyptian capital Cairo, leaving at least 28 dead.

Islamic State said it carried out the attack - the latest in a series against Coptic Christians that has seen more than 100 people killed since December.

Egyptian Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali decided on Saturday to issue compensation to the families of the victims of the deadly shooting attack on Christians in Minya a day earlier, state-owned agency MENA reported.

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.

In December, a suicide bomber struck a church in Cairo, killing 29 Copts.

It came after militants had threatened more strikes against the Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90-million population.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the news was being received with "deep sorrow", noting that German is now hosting a large gathering of the Protestant Church that Coptic Christians are attending too.

One survivor, a small boy who seemed to be about six, said his mother pushed him under her seat and covered him with a bag.

The Egyptian armed forces also released a short video that said the strikes hit terrorist gatherings in Libya "after confirming their involvement in planning and committing the terrorist attack in Minya governorate on Friday", according to Ahram Online.

Addressing US President Donald Trump, Mr Sisi said: "You have said that your priority is to confront terrorism, and I trust you are capable of doing that". No group has yet claimed responsibility for attacking the bus.

The pontiff took the occasion to condemn the attacks, repeating his statement that killing in the name of God is blasphemy.

On Sunday, Egyptian Attorney General Nabil Sadik said he referred 48 suspected Islamic State militants to a military court over the bombing of Coptic churches.

Mr Sisi said that in the past three months, Egyptian security forces have destroyed 300 vehicles attempting to cross the border.

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

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday strongly condemned the ISIS-claimed attack in Egypt which claimed the lives of more than two dozen people.

Other reports by iNewsToday