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Algeria: Egypt exploiting attack on Copts to support Libya’s Haftar

Security forces take security measures at site after an explosion at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt on 11 December, 2016 [Ahmed Gamil /Anadolu Agency]
Security forces take security measures at site after an explosion at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt on 11 December, 2016 [Ahmed Gamil /Anadolu Agency]

Algerian intelligence sources said that Egypt is using the terrorist attack against Christians in Minya as an excuse to launch a premeditated attack in Libya.

The sources, who preferred not to be named, said:

We believe that even if there was no attack on the Copts, Egypt was preparing to launch an attack in Libya.

They highlighted the fact that Egyptian Chief of Staff, Mahmoud Hijazi, had recently met with Brigadier General, Khalifa Haftar, in Benghazi.

Read: Haftar overseeing Egypt-Libya airstrikes on Derna

This is first official visit by a senior Egyptian army official to Libya since the fall of the regime of the late Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

There was no official Egyptian statement on the visit, but the pro-government Libyan News Agency in eastern Libya said the delegation also included the Director of Egyptian Military Intelligence, Major-General Mohamed Al-Shahat.

Libyans seen after Egypt’s air strike on Derna, Libya [Abdul Hamid/Arabi21]

Libyans seen after Egypt’s air strike on Derna, Libya [Abdul Hamid/Arabi21]

The Egyptian army has been carrying out a series of attacks on targets in Libya since Friday under the pretext of combating terrorist groups responsible for the Minya attack which killed some 29 Copts and wounded 24 others.

The Libyan Government of National Accords has requested Algeria intervene and stop the bombing of Libyan cities by Egyptian forces.

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