There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the fourth to target Christians since December, but it bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. The bloodshed came on the eve of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Senior Egyptian officials said fighter jets targeted bases in eastern Libya of the Shura Council, an Islamist militia known to be linked to al-Qaida, not the Islamic State grop. There was no immediate word on damage or casualties.
El-Sissi told Pope Towadros II, the pope of the Coptic church in Egypt, in a phone call on Friday that the state would not rest easy until the perpetrators of the attack were punished.
Egypt’s government has been struggling for the last three years to deter militants led by an Islamic State group affiliate and centered in the Sinai peninsula.
After a visit to Egypt last month by Pope Francis, IS vowed to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies.