ISIS claims responsibility for deadly attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt
Islamic State terrorists have claimed responsibility for an attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt that killed at least 29 and injured over 20 more on Friday. The attack prompted Egypt to launch airstrikes on “terrorist camps” in eastern Libya.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement published by the terrorist group on Saturday.
Gunmen opened fire on two buses and a truck with Coptic Christians inside in Minya, Egypt on Friday.
The shooting, which occurred on the eve of Ramadan, happened as the victims were traveling from Beni Suef Province to the Coptic Orthodox Anba Samuel Monastery near the southern city of Minya, 250km (155 miles) south of Cairo.
Following the attack, Egypt launched retaliatory strikes on militant positions in Derna, Libya late Friday. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi said that the strikes would reach the terrorists regardless of their location, adding that they would target a terrorist camp they had allegedly come from.
“Egypt will not hesitate in striking any camps that harbor or train terrorist elements whether inside Egypt or outside Egypt,” al-Ahram news agency cited Sisi as saying.
Egyptian Air Forces completely destroyed all the planned terrorist targets with the day and night strikes, the military said in a statement on Saturday.
Egypt’s air strikes in Libya constitute the nation’s inherent right to self-defense, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, in a phone conversation. Shoukry added that Egypt possesses evidence which indicates that the terrorists involved in the Friday attack had trained in the camps, TASS news agency quotes an Egyptian Foreign Ministry communique as saying. Tillerson called the minister on Saturday to express his condolences.