Egypt Launches Air Strikes On ‘Terrorist Camps’ In Libya In Response To Attack On Coptic Christians

At least 26 Coptic Christians were killed and 26 others injured earlier Friday when gunmen opened fire on a bus heading to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, located south of Cairo.

Gunmen opened fire on two buses and a truck carrying Coptic Christians in Minya, Egypt on Friday, killing at least 26, including children. Some 26 people were also injured in the attack.

The group of between eight and 10 gunmen, reportedly dressed in military uniforms according to eyewitnesses, approached the convoy in three four-wheel-drive pickup trucks before opening fire, according to local media reports and the Egyptian Interior Ministry. RT

Egypt strike terrorist camps in Libya

Egyptian fighter jets have struck militant camps following the deadly attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, President Abdel Fattah Sisi has announced. The strikes were carried out in eastern Libya, state television said.

Egypt’s president also vowed to continue striking bases used to train militants and who carry out terrorist attacks in his country, regardless of the camps’ location.

He also reiterated that the countries financing, training and arming terrorists should not get away unpunished.

“We will not hesitate to protect our people from the evil,” he said in a televised speech on Friday.

“Egypt will not hesitate in striking any camps that harbor or train terrorist elements whether inside Egypt or outside Egypt,” the al-Ahram news agency quoted Sisi as saying.

Egypt carried out six air strikes in Derna in eastern Libya, state television reported adding that it is where the militants who carried out the deadly attack on the Coptic Christians were trained.

Following the Libyan incursion, Egyptian armed forces released a short video which was aired on state television following the president’s speech. The voiceover in the army video said its air force carried out strikes on targets in Libya “after confirming their involvement in planning and committing the terrorist attack in Minya governorate on Friday.”

Egypt’s military said that the air strikes are ongoing, local media reports. RT

Egypt Retaliates

isis-message-coptOn Sunday, ISIS  released a gruesome video of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.  The man had been abducted from Sirte.  On Saturday is was reported that a second group of 21 Egyptians had been kidnapped in Libya – this time from Misrata, reported the Telegraph.

Egyptian Copts form the largest Christian community in the Middle East, accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of the population. There are an estimated six to 11 million members.

The majority belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which according to tradition was established by Saint Mark in the 1st Century, approximately AD 42, while the remainder are divided between the Coptic Catholic church and various (smaller) Coptic Protestant churches…

Why have Isis claimed to have targeted them?

The video, titled ‘A message signed in blood to the people of the cross’, makes reference to the “hostile Egyptian Church”. It also claims to be a response to the alleged treatment of Camilla Shehata, the wife of a Coptic priest whose alleged conversion in 2010 sparked a sectarian dispute. Isis, also known as the Islamic State, claim that the women was held against her will, post conversion.

Specifically, the men involved in the video claim that these “crusaders” will have their blood mixed in the “sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in”.

Online:  Egypt’s Coptic Christians: Who are they – and why have then been targeted by Isis in beheading video?

Franklin Graham:  “The militant Islamic terrorist group ISIS has released a video called A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped in Libya. Can you imagine the outcry if 21 Muslims had been beheaded by Christians? Where is the universal condemnation by Muslim leaders around the world? As we mourn with the families of those 21 martyrs, we’d better take this warning seriously as these acts of terror will only spread throughout Europe and the United States. If this concerns you like it does me, share this. The storm is coming.”

Pope Francis:  “I would now like to turn to my native tongue to express feelings of profound sorrow. Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians. Their only words were: “Jesus, help me!”. They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians.

You, my brother, in your words referred to what is happening in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ. As we recall these brothers and sisters who died only because they confessed Christ, I ask that we encourage each another to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood. The martyrs belong to all Christians.”

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Egypt on Monday launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya.