By Victor Ochieng
In a retaliatory attack for the killing of Coptic Christians by gunmen during a recent ambush that resulted in 28 deaths, Egypt launched airstrikes against militant bases in eastern Libya. The killing was carried out by masked attackers on a caravan carrying Christian pilgrims.
The Egyptian leadership vowed that it couldn’t sit back and watch as innocent lives were being lost. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said his forces were targeting “training bases” under the control of the militants responsible for the killing of the Coptic Christians.
According to senior officials, the Egyptian warplanes focused their strikes on the Shura Council headquarters in the city of Darna. Intelligence reveals that the militants that operate there have links with the dreaded al-Qaeda terrorist group.
In an appeal directed at United States President Trump, the Egyptian president said, “I trust you, your word and your ability to make fighting global terror your primary task.”
During the recently held G-7 summit in Italy, the U.S. President firmly condemned the unfortunate attack, laying the blame on “evil organizations of terror” and “thuggish ideology.”
In his statement, Trump said, “the merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls.”
In the attack, militants driving in SUVs launched a gun attack on the caravan that was carrying Coptic Christian pilgrimages en-route to a monastery some 130 miles south of Cairo, the Egyptian capital. According to the Egyptian authorities, the attack resulted in the death of 28 people and injured at least 23.
The unfortunate incident occurred just a month after Pope Francis paid a visit to Egypt to express his solidarity with Christians in the predominantly Muslim nation, where several religious attacks have been launched by Islamic militants against Christians.
The Egyptian security and medical officials also supported the higher death toll, although they did so on condition of anonymity.