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MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a situation analysis conference with the permanent members of the Security Council, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
"The members of Russia’s Security Council resolutely condemned another barbaric killing of Egyptian Christians by IS terrorists in Libya," Peskov said. "The participants in the conference offered deep condolences to Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and all people of Egypt."
Putin and the members of Russia’s Security Council have also expressed concerns about the spread of terrorist activities of the Islamic State militant group and Islamic extremism as a whole.
On Sunday evening, IS militants published a video showing the apparent beheadings of 21 Copts (Egyptian Christians) from the city of Samalut in the Minya governorate to the south of Cairo. The Copts were captured by Islamic State militants at the end of last year in Libya, and there was no information about their fate until the video was released.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addressed the nation last night, saying Cairo has the "right to respond" to killings of Egyptian citizens in Libya. "Egypt reserves the right to respond at the proper time and in the appropriate style in retaliation against those inhuman criminal killers," el-Sisi stressed.
Eight rockets were launched at dawn targeting military camps in Derna in Libya’s east, a training ground for terrorists. The city on the Mediterranean cost, one of Islamist strongholds, has been under control of IS-linked groups for the last months. At the end of last year, they announced establishing the Mujahideen Shura Council tasked with fighting pro-government forces. The Libyan army has been unsuccessfully trying to drive extremist groups out of the city, launching occasional airstrikes at their positions.
The Egyptian Armed Forces distributed a statement saying that fighter jets delivering airstrikes returned to their positions after successfully fulfilling the task set by the National Defense Council of Egypt "on securing the safety of Egyptian citizens, as well as on retaliating and reacting to criminal acts by terrorist elements and organizations inside and outside of the country."