Egypt defends Libya airstrikes, says terror training camps were destroyed


The extremist group Daesh "ISIS" had claimed responsibility for an attack on a bus outside of Cairo that killed at least 29 Coptic Christians including 10 children.

Then in April, during Palm Sunday services, there were coordinate bombing attacks on Coptic churches in two different cities, killing over 75 people and wounding dozens more.

Egypt responded to the attack with a wave of air strikes against suspected militant bases where the military said the perpetrators trained. Daesh reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Men, women and children are among the dead and injured, officials said.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, the British-born son of Libyan parents, is believed to have recently visited the north African country before carrying out the attack on a pop concert.

"They chose death", said Mr 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 per cent of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt.

The east Libyan air force said Friday the strikes were targeting al-Qaeda linked forces and did not mention Islamic State.

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The exact location of Friday's airstrikes was unclear, but Nile TV reported that Egypt has targeted terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula and on the border with Libya.

State television cited the health minister as saying the attack, which prompted widespread worldwide condemnation, killed 28 people. It happened on the eve of the start of Ramadan, a Muslim holy month of fasting that commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammed according to Islamic faith.

There have been a number of attacks on Coptic Christians in the country in recent months claimed by Islamic State militants.

The Christians were traveling in two buses and a small truck in Minya, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority, when they were attacked.

Coptic Christians are vocal supporters of al-Sisi, but they are furious at the al-Sisi government for not preventing these repeated attacks, but al-Sisi seems helpless to stop them.

"Wherever innocent blood is spilled, a wound is inflicted upon humanity", said President Donald Trump in a statement released after Friday's attack.

America stands with President Al Sisi and all the Egyptian people today, and always, as we fight to defeat this common enemy. "Many wounded", Evangelist Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan's Purse, tweeted as details of the attack emerged.