Cairo (IINA) � Al-Azhar, Egypt's top religious authority, condemned Friday's shooting which took place on the eve of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Minya incident is unacceptable to Muslims and Christians and it targets Egypt's stability, Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb said in a statement. Militants have threatened more attacks against the Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90-million population.
Meanwhile, Daesh (so called ISIS) said in a statement on Saturday that it had carried out the killing of Egyptian Christians. A security unit from the soldiers of the caliphate set up a checkpoint to ambush tens of Christians headed for the Saint Samuel monastery west of the city of Minya, the statement said.
Eyewitnesses had described that masked men had boarded vehicles carrying Coptic Christians and opened fire at them. Twenty�nine Coptic Christians were killed and 24 wounded in the attack in Minya, in southern Egypt. Meanwhile, Egypt on Saturday morning said its military is continuing to carry out air strikes against militant training camps in Derna in eastern Libya, state television reported.State TV also aired footage said to show the air strikes on militants' positions in Derna in eastern Libya. There was no immediate word on damage or casualties.
On Friday, Egyptian air force had carried out six air strikes on extremist camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed 29 Coptic Christians and wounded 24 in southern Egypt. The Egyptian Cabinet said in a news release on Saturday that 13 victims of Friday's attack remained hospitalized in Cairo and the southern province of Minya where the attack took place.
Following the attack, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had said that Egypt will not hesitate to strike terrorist camps anywhere whether they are, inside or outside the country. 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.
Source: International Islamic News Agency
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