Egypt launches air strikes in Libya for second day

Cheryl Sanders
June 6, 2017

Egypt responded to the attack, the fourth since December by IS to target Christians, with airstrikes against what the military says are bases in eastern Libya in which the militants have been trained.

On Friday, masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying almost 50 Coptic Christians on a visit to a monastery south of the Egyptian capital.

The Egyptian President, in a televised address shortly after the attack, indicated that he had ordered quick retaliation on the militants: air raids against terrorist camps which allegedly trained the attackers of the Coptic Christians in Minya province, Southern Egypt.

After the terror act, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said that Egypt was determined to eliminate terrorists both on its territory and beyond and stressed that the states supporting terrorism should be punished.

Morocco strongly condemned on Saturday the "abject" terrorist attack that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt's Minya Province.

The Tel Aviv municipality building was lit in the colors of the Egyptian flag Saturday night, in a sign of solidarity with Israel's neighbor, a day after a shooting attack left 29 people dead near Cairo.

Egypt's government has been struggling contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an IS affiliate that is centered in the northern region of the Sinai peninsula, though attacks on the mainland have recently increased.

The attack came after church bombings in December and April claimed by Daesh that killed dozens of Egypt's Coptic Christians. ISIS militants have targeted Coptic Christians several times in recent years, triggering a mass exodus of Christians from some towns.

Egypt has seen a sharp rise in attacks against Christians, who represent 10 percent of the country's 91 million residents.

On Wednesday, Egypt blocked access to almost two dozen websites it said were sympathetic to militants or spreading their ideology. It will last for three months but may be extended.

They have increasingly been under attack in Egypt.

Egypt has already been in the midst of a major crackdown against Islamists of all shades since 2013 - with thousands of them in jail and numerous freedoms won by a 2011 uprising rolled back while security forces operate with near impunity. "Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilisation, and it is up to all who value life to confront and defeat this evil".

Friday's attack came two days after the US embassy in Cairo had warned its citizens in Egypt of possible attacks.

Other reports by iNewsToday