Christians Killed in ISIS Attack in Egypt

Egypt's air force launched strikes on suspected "terrorist camps" in Libya after a bus attack on Christians earlier Friday, the government announced.

Persecution of Egypt's Christians has spiked since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011, and as an ISIS affiliate wages an insurgency on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

On Saturday, the Islamic State (ISIS) news Agency, Aamaq, reported that the terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror bases anywhere", el-Sissi said in a televised address to the nation.

There have been a number of attacks on Coptic Christians in the country in recent months claimed by Islamic State militants. Libyan sources say Egypt has indicated more attacks, possibly including groundstrikes, are being considered by Cairo.

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In a speech on national television, the Egyptian President warned terrorist organisation and said that he will order strike at any base that train militants.

Egypt's Copts, the Middle East's largest Christian community, have repeatedly complained of suffering discrimination, as well as outright attacks, at hands of the country's majority Muslim population.

Masked gunmen in three pick-up trucks attacked the convoy as it headed for Saint Samuel monastery, before fleeing the scene. Meanwhile, forces loyal to Libya's unity government said on Saturday that 52 of its fighters were killed as they repelled rival militias in fierce clashes in Tripoli.

The air force loyal to Egypt-backed Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said it had joined the Egyptian air strikes on Friday following the attack on Copts that killed 29 people.

Coptic Christians shout slogans during a funeral service for victims of the bus attack.

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Sisi told Pope Towadros II, the pope of the Coptic church in Egypt, in a phone call on Friday that the state would not rest easy until the perpetrators of the attack were punished.

Coptic Christians, whose church dates back nearly 2,000 years, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 92 million.

They have increasingly been under attack in Egypt.

King Salman expressed Saudi Arabia's preparedness to stand behind and back Egypt until terrorism is removed from its roots and seizes to exist in any form.

In April, twin suicide bombings struck two churches on Palm Sunday, and in December, a suicide bombing targeted a Cairo church.

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In December an IS suicide bomber attacked another church in Cairo, killing 29 people.

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