A day after gunmen shot and killed no less than 26 Coptic Christians and wounded dozens of others in the Minya province, Egyptian forces have launched an air offensive on target camps near Derna, in Libya where the armed men responsible for deadly attack are alleged to have trained.

The airstrikes were ordered by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a televised address. He stated that sponsored terrorism would be punished while also noting that he had directed strikes against what he called “terrorist camps”.

“Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror camps anywhere … if it plans attacking Egypt whether inside or outside the country,” Sisi said.

Read also: 26 Coptic Christians gunned down by unknown assailants in Egypt

As at the last count, Egyptian air force planes have carried out six strikes directed at camps near Derna in Libya, where armed men responsible for a deadly attack on Christians are believed to have trained, Egyptian military sources say.

On Friday, a bus carrying Coptic Christians came under fire on Friday while travelling on the road to the St. Samuel Monastery in the Minya province, about 220km south of the capital, Cairo, health officials said.

The interior ministry said at least 26 people were killed and 25 wounded in the attack as there is no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident.

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