Derna Shura Council has issued a statement denying involvement in the horrific attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Minya Friday.
The statement reads,”It is not our policy to target unarmed civilians in Libya, or in Egypt.”
It adds that Egypt’s airstrikes on Derna were a diversion to the Egyptian public from Al-Sisi’s failure to address the security and economic crises in his country.
Late on Friday, Egyptian warplanes carried airstrikes on the headquarters of Derna Shura Council in Libya’s eastern city of Derna.
But Derna Shura Council denied that the airstrike had ever hit their locations, saying they only targeted civilian areas and different non-populated places.
IS claims responsibility for the attack on Copts
The Islamic State (IS) published a statement on Saturday claiming responsibility for the attack.
“A security team of caliphate soldiers set up an ambush for dozens of Christians as they headed to the church of St. Samuel,” the militant group said through Amaq, its media arm.
On Friday, gunmen opened fire on a bus in the city of Minya in southern Egypt – around 245 km south of Cairo.
The bus, which was thought to have been carrying around 50 Coptic Christians, was heading to Anba Samuel monastery in the city.
In fact, ISIS has claimed responsibility for previous attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt.
Last April,ISIS claimed responsibility for two attacks on churches in Egypt that were packed for Palm Sunday. The two bombings killed at least 37 people and injured around 100.
In addition, an Islamic State affiliate also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a church, last December,in Cairo that killed about 30 people, mostly women, as well as a string of killings in Sinai Peninsula which have led to hundreds of Christians fleeing to safer areas of the country.
Since the military coup in 2013 against Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, the country has struggled to combat a wave of violence and unrest in Cairo and especially in Northern Sinai as the Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attack .