Egypt Strikes Libya Camps After Minya Attack

"We can not allow the terrorists to stay safe and benefit for a failure of the Libyan government's loss of control over the country's territories, which have now turned into a safe haven and a training ground for foreign fighters and other elements, who infiltrate through the Egypt-Libyan border and attack innocent Egyptian civilians", he added.

Relatives of victims of an attack that killed at least 28 Coptic Christians on Friday react at the funeral in Minya, Egypt May 26, 2017.

Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen says "we are united in fighting terrorism" and added Saturday that those behind it were "primitive terrorist criminals".

Sisi said he had ordered strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished.

Following the attack, Egyptian jets carried out airstrikes against what the authorities said "militant training camps" in neighboring Libya.

The statement from the military spokesman did not specify precisely where the strikes were conducted but state television said on Friday that operations were focused on the eastern Libyan city of Derna. More than 20 people were injured.

The attack came after church bombings in December and April claimed by Daesh that killed dozens of Egypt's Coptic Christians.

Earlier a similar attack by ISIS in 2016 had claimed the lives of at least 21 Coptic Christians.

The assault happened while the bus was travelling to Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Maghagha, in the Minya governorate, about 220 km south of Cairo, security officials said.

"There was enough information and evidence of the terrorist elements involved in the (attack) having trained in these camps", a foreign ministry statement said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq media wing, according to the Site Intelligence Group, a terror monitoring group.

Friday's attack is the third against Christians in Egypt in six months.

Last month, el-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following twin suicide bombings that struck two churches north of Cairo on Palm Sunday.

President Donald Trump said Friday that the "merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls".

Egypt's Copts, the Middle East's largest Christian community, account for about 10 percent of the country's 93 million people.

They have increasingly been under attack in Egypt.

  • Jacqueline Ellis