Egypt launched six air strikes on militant camps in Libya yesterday after masked gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people.
Assailants in three pick-up trucks attacked the bus as it was heading for the Saint Samuel monastery in Minya province, more than 200km from Cairo, before fleeing, the interior ministry said.
It was the latest attack on Copts after Islamic State (IS) group militants bombed three churches in December and April, killing dozens of Christians.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a televised address, said Egyptian forces had hit a jihadist training camp in retaliation.
State television reported six air strikes against “terror camps in Libya”, specifying that jihadist training camps were hit 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 (the country) or outside it,” Sisi said.
Addressing US President Donald Trump, 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, 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.
Footage on state television showed the bus riddled with bullet holes, while cellphone footage and pictures on media sites showed victims lying in the desert sand.
Qatar condemns Minya attack
Qatar has strongly condemned the attack took place in Egypt’s province of Minya, which left dozens dead and injured. In a statement issued yesterday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated Qatar’s firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of its source and whatever its motives and reasons. It also expressed Qatar’s condolences to the families of the victims and the brotherly Egyptian people, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.