The Latest: Egypt strikes bases in Libya after Copts attack

The Latest: Egypt strikes bases in Libya after Copts attack

CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on the attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt (all times local):

09:45 p.m.

Senior officials say Egyptian fighter jets have struck militant bases in eastern Libya in retaliation for an attack by suspected Islamic State militants that killed 28 Christians south of Cairo.

The officials said the warplanes on Friday targeted the headquarters of the Shura Council in the city of Darna, where local militias are known to be linked to al-Qaida, not the Islamic State group.

The officials spoke shortly after President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a televised address that Egypt will strike bases where militants who wage attacks in Egypt are trained, no matter where they are.

El-Sissi also directly appealed to President Trump to lead the global war against terror.

___

09:15 p.m.

Egypt's president says his country has struck bases in which militants who waged a deadly attack against Christians have been trained, but gave no details.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says Egypt will strike at any bases that train militants who wage attacks in Egypt, wherever they may be. He also directly appealed to President Trump to take the lead in the fight against global terror.

In a televised address just hours after at least 28 Christians were killed by suspected militants south of Cairo, el-Sissi said "I direct my appeal to President Trump: I trust you, your word and your ability to make fighting global terror your primary task."

He also repeated calls that countries which finance, train or arm extremists be punished.

___

8:45 p.m.

The Vatican says Pope Francis is "saddened" by the "barbaric" attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt.

In a condolence message sent on Friday to the Egyptian president, Francis said he'll continue his "intercession for peace and reconciliation" throughout Egypt.

Masked militants fired on a bus filled with Coptic Christians south of Cairo, killing at least 28 and wounding 22, the Egyptian Ministry said.

The message described Francis as being "deeply saddened to learn of the barbaric attack in central Egypt and of the tragic loss of life and injury caused by this senseless act of hatred."

Last month's visit by Francis to Cairo aimed in part to show support for Christians in Muslim majority Egypt. Following the visit, the Islamic State group vowed to escalate attacks against Christians.

___

6 p.m.

The United Nations Security Council is condemning "in the strongest terms" the attack in Egypt on a bus carrying Coptic Christians that left at least 28 people dead and dozens injured.

In a statement released Friday, the Council expressed its "deepest sympathy" and condolences to the families of the victims and emphasized that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed "that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security," the statement said.

___

4:30 p.m.

Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group has condemned the attack that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt saying it "is a new crime added to the criminal record of a murderers' gang."

Masked militants riding in three SUVs opened fire Friday on a bus packed with Coptic Christians, including children, south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least 28 people and wounding 22.

Hezbollah in a statement released in Beirut called for a "strong and frank stance in the face of terrorism that takes religion as a cover."

It said such acts should be fought so that the "world does not go toward a precipice to which those criminals want to take it."

___

4 p.m.

Israel is strongly condemning the attack by masked gunmen on a bus carrying Christians in neighboring Egypt that killed 28 people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement Friday sending "condolences from the Israeli people to the Egyptian people and to President el-Sissi."

It says "terrorism will be defeated quicker if all countries act together against it."

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979 and maintain close security cooperation.

The bus attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for three attacks against churches since December that left about 75 people dead. The group recently warned Egyptian Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings because it intends to carry out more attacks.

___

3:30 p.m.

The militant Islamic group Hamas that rules Gaza is condemning the attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in a statement Friday called the shooting "an ugly crime," of which "the enemies of Egypt" are the only beneficiaries.

Egyptian security officials said 28 people were killed and 22 wounded in an attack by gunmen on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo earlier in the day.

The Palestinian militant group is seeking to improve relations with neighboring Egypt.

After winning legislative elections in 2006, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in bloody street battles from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the following year.

Gaza has suffered increasing hardship under Hamas' rule, which triggered a border blockade by both Egypt and Israel.

___

03:20 p.m.

Egyptian security and medical officials say the death toll in the shooting by masked gunmen of a bus carrying Christians, many of them children, on their way to a remote desert monastery has risen to 28.

The officials say the Friday attack south of Cairo also left 22 people wounded.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The latest attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for three attacks against churches since December that left about 75 people dead. It has recently warned Egyptian Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings because it intends to carry out more attacks.

—Hamza Hendawi in Cairo.

___

1:50 p.m.

The German government is condemning the attack against a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt in which 24 people were killed and 25 wounded.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the news was being received with "deep sorrow," noting that German is currently hosting a large gathering of the Protestant Church that Coptic Christians are attending too.

Martin Schaefer told reporters in Berlin on Friday that Germany "condemns in the strongest possible terms these kinds of attacks on believers" and grieves with the victims and their relatives.

Schaefer says Germany will cooperate with Egypt "to ensure that things like this don't happen again in future."

___

12:20 p.m.

Egyptian state TV says 23 people were killed and 25 wounded in an attack by gunmen on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo.

The report quotes local health officials as saying that the attack happened on Friday while the bus was traveling on the road to the St. Samuel Monastery in the Minya governorate, about 220 kilometers, or 140 miles, south of the Egyptian capital.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Photo: Map locates Minya, Egypt

Support journalism from a Christian worldview. Donate Today
To the Mayor of Manchester: the suicide bomber was a Muslim

To the Mayor of Manchester: the suicide bomber was a Muslim

Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 28

Militants attack Christians in Egypt, killing at least 28