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Islamic State Beheads Coptic Christians - 18 Feb 2015
Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border.

Egypt said the pre-dawn strike hit militant camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in the neighbouring oil-producing country, where factional fighting has unleashed virtual anarchy and created havens for jihadi Islamists.

While Cairo is believed to have provided clandestine support to a Libyan general fighting a rogue government in Tripoli, the 21 decapitations pushed President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi into open action, expanding his battle against Islamist militancy.

"And let those near and far know that the Egyptians have a shield that protects and preserves the security of the country, and a sword that eradicates terrorism," the Egyptian military said in a statement.

Egyptian state television aired footage of fighter planes leaving a hangar with "Long live Egypt" emblazoned on their tails, followed by night-vision aerial footage showing bomb explosions and the aircraft returning in early daylight.

Libya's air force also participated in Monday's attack, which targeted Derna, an eastern coastal city regarded as a base for fighters of the ultra-radical Islamic State.

"There are losses among individuals, ammunition and the (Islamic State) communication centres," Libyan air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi told Egyptian state television, adding that dozens had been killed.
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PUBP
February 16, 2015
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in al-Our village, in Minya governorate,...
Cairo, Egypt
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in al-Our village, in Minya governorate,...
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in al-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Thousands of traumatized mourners gathered on Monday at the Coptic church in al-Our village south of Cairo, struggling to come to terms with the fate of compatriots who paid a gruesome price for simply seeking work in Libya. Thirteen of 21 Egyptians beheaded by Islamic State came from the impoverished dirt lanes of al-Our, violence that prompted the Egyptian military to launch an air strike on Islamic State militant targets in Libya. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PTAV
February 16, 2015
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending a mass...
Cairo, Egypt
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before in the south of...
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending a mass in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CONFLICT RELIGION)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PSVC
February 16, 2015
The father of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending mass...
Cairo, Egypt
The father of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church in the south of Cairo...
The father of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending mass in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS RELIGION CONFLICT)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PUCA
February 16, 2015
Relatives and neighbours of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya chant pro-army slogans during a protest...
Cairo, Egypt
Relatives and neighbours of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya chant pro-army slogans during protest...
Relatives and neighbours of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya chant pro-army slogans during a protest while carrying crosses in al-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Thousands of traumatized mourners gathered on Monday at the Coptic church in al-Our village south of Cairo, struggling to come to terms with the fate of compatriots who paid a gruesome price for simply seeking work in Libya. Thirteen of 21 Egyptians beheaded by Islamic State came from the impoverished dirt lanes of al-Our, violence that prompted the Egyptian military to launch an air strike on Islamic State militant targets in Libya. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION CONFLICT MILITARY)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PSYX
February 16, 2015
A man calms his wife, both of whom are relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya. as she mourns...
Cairo, Egypt
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn in the south of Cairo
A man calms his wife, both of whom are relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya. as she mourns outside one of their houses in El-Our village, in Minya goverorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT RELIGION)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PT4P
February 16, 2015
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in El-Our village, in Minya governorate,...
Cairo, Egypt
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in the south of Cairo
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT RELIGION)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PT80
February 16, 2015
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending a mass...
Cairo, Egypt
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church in the south of Cairo...
A relative of one of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourns at a church before attending a mass in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT RELIGION)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PSUC
February 16, 2015
Neighbours and friends of the relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya attend mass at a church,...
Cairo, Egypt
Neighbours and friends of the relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya attend mass at a church...
Neighbours and friends of the relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya attend mass at a church, as a banner with pictures of the men who were men is displayed on the church wall, in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS RELIGION CONFLICT)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PSQC
February 16, 2015
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in El-Our village, in Minya governorate,...
Cairo, Egypt
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in the south of Cairo
Relatives of Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya mourn at their house in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY CONFLICT)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PT2Z
February 16, 2015
Soldiers arrive to secure the area around a church where the relatives and friends of the Egyptian Coptic...
Cairo, Egypt
Soldiers arrive to secure the area around a church where the relatives and friends of the Egyptian Coptic...
Soldiers arrive to secure the area around a church where the relatives and friends of the Egyptian Coptic men killed in Libya are attending a mass and offering their condolences in El-Our village, in Minya governorate, south of Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS RELIGION CONFLICT)
MIDEAST-CRISIS/LIBYA-EGYPT
RTR4PU5O
February 16, 2015
An Egyptian Christian man holds a placard as he joins others in a protest against the killing of Egyptian...
Cairo, Egypt
An Egyptian Christian man holds placard as he joins others in protest against killing of Egyptian Coptic...
An Egyptian Christian man holds a placard as he joins others in a protest against the killing of Egyptian Coptic Christians by militants of the Islamic State in Libya, in Cairo February 16, 2015. Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. Placard reads, "The first demand is the assurance of the return of Egyptian residents in Libya". REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT RELIGION)
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