The Mujahidin Shura Council in the Libyan city of Derna issued a statement Monday responding to the airstrikes launched by the Egyptian army.
Egypt’s action came against militant Islamists targets in Libya, with the Mujahidin Shura Council vowing “harsh response”.
The powerful sub organisation of radical Islamist group Ansar Al-Sharia said in the statement that the airstrike Egypt launched earlier on Monday resulted in “several killings among innocents of children and women … and several injuries which some are critical.”
The Egyptian Armed Forces General Command announced Monday morning the launch of the first airstrike against “Islamic State” (IS) in Libya in response to the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic workers.
“Islamic State” claimed the abduction of the Coptic Egyptians at the beginning of the year, with the kidnappings occurring on separate incidents. The group released a video Sunday showcasing the beheading of the entire group on Friday.
Libyan Air Force commander Saqr Al-Jroushi said during a television interview on state TV that the airstrikes were launched in coordination with the Libyan Air Force.
State run newspaper Al-Ahram quoted the Libyan military spokesperson as saying that the joint airstrikes left 64 “Islamic State” militants killed, and dozens wounded.
The Egyptian General Command noted that airstrikes targeted training camps, weapons and ammunition stores belonging to the group on the Libyan territories.
Residents of Derna told Daily News Egypt that the strikes also hit residential buildings and led to injuries and deaths amongst civilians, however this has yet to be confirmed by officials.
The Mujahidin Shura Council’s statement expressed condolences to “families of martyrs hoping God will inspire them with patience and solace and we hope immediate recovery for the injured by the barbaric Egyptian assault.”
The Council ensured the Egyptian people that Egyptian workers in Derna “are safe and receive good hospitality as it has been for decades.”
“We say to the criminal (Abdel Fattah) Al-Sisi and his follower the war criminal (Khalifa) Haftar that the blood of our children and women will not be cheap and the response will be harsh,” the statement concluded.