After UK, Egypt attacks, Libya seen as militants' haven

FILE - In this Friday, May 26, 2017 file photo, relatives of Coptic Christians who were killed during a bus attack, surround their coffins, during their funeral service, at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt.

"A security detachment from the Islamic State carried out an attack yesterday in Minya", reported the ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency on Saturday.

Israel "strongly condemns the painful terror attack in Egypt and sends the condolences of the Israeli people to [Egyptian] President [Abdel-Fattah] Sissi and to the Egyptian people", a Friday statement from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "Pakistani nation stands in solidarity with the people and Government of Egypt in their struggle against the scourge of terrorism", the Foreign Office stated.

"There is no difference between the terror of the attack in Egypt and that of attacks in other countries, " Netanyahu pointed out.

Egypt launched a fresh round of air strikes over Libya on Saturday, Egyptian military sources and an eyewitness told Reuters, targeting militant camps it said were responsible for a shooting spree that killed dozens of Egyptian Christians.

It was the latest attack against Egypt's embattled Christian minority.

"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terrorist camps anywhere... inside Egypt, of course, or overseas", Sisi said.

The Egyptian military said the operation was ongoing and had been undertaken once it had been ascertained that the camps had produced the gunmen behind the attack on the Coptic Christians in Minya, southern Egypt, on Friday morning. Egypt's Coptic Christians have emerged as a top target of IS.

In past attacks, Egypt had usually identified local jihadists as the perpetrators.

Two deadly church bombings in Alexandria and Tanta took more than 45 lives in April, and almost 30 people were killed in the Daesh-claimed attack on a church in the capital Cairo in December.

In April, Egyptian authorities declared a three-month state of emergency following a double attack claimed by Daesh on two churches in northern Egypt that left 45 Coptic Christian worshipers dead and scores more injured.

El-Sissi, in his televised address, said of the USA president: "I direct my appeal to President Trump: I trust you, your word and your ability to make fighting global terror your primary task".

  • Jon Douglas