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Egypt delivers airstrikes at IS positions in Libya — media

February 16, 2015, 10:16 UTC+3 CAIRO

The airstrikes were Cairo's response to beheadings of 21 Copts (Egyptian Christians) by the Islamic state terrorists

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Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits being led by Islamic State militants along a beach in Libya

Egyptian Coptic Christians in orange jumpsuits being led by Islamic State militants along a beach in Libya

© AP Photo

CAIRO, February 16. /TASS/. Egyptian aviation has delivered airstrikes at Islamic State (IS) positions in Libya, Egyptian state television said on Monday.

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 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."

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