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Egypt has opened a new front in the war against so-called Islamic State, bombing targets on the doorstep of Europe. It launched two waves of airstrikes on the Islamist terrorists in Libya.
It follows the mass murder of 21 Egyptian Christians on the Libyan seafront, barely 200 miles from the frontier of Europe. The Egyptian government has called on the international community to intervene in Libya.
ITV News Africa correspondent John Ray reports:
The bombing of Libya was a unilateral Egyptian air-force strike. Relations between the el-Sissi regime and Washington are poor, and yes Washington would have watched this strike unfold in real time.
I think there is a bigger strategic point here as well. How does the West tackle these sorts of crises in North Africa and the Middle East. We have tried intervening in Libya and it has led to almost total chaos. We've tried not intervening in Syria and we are left with a humanitarian catastrophe.
So it really means that there is no template, no model for success, and we are left with what we are seeing now. A deteriorating situation right across the region.
David Cameron has spoken to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to offer his condolences over the murder of the Egyptian Christians and to discuss how Britain and Egypt could work together to fight terrorism.
Mr el-Sisi and the Prime Minister agreed that a political solution was the best way to solve the Libyan crisis.
"The Prime Minister recognised that Egypt, as one of Libya's neighbours, had a particular interest in protecting itself from violent extremism on its borders and that both countries shared the same objective: a safe and secure Libya," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
Egypt has called on the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to broaden the scope of their operations to include Libya, highlighting how the insurgent group has expanded its reach around the Arab world.
After the strikes, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi spoke with France's president and Italy's prime minister about the Libya situation.
"What is happening in Libya is a threat to international peace and security," said el-Sissi, who also banned all travel to Libya by Egyptian citizens.
Libya's air force also participated in the air strikes on Libya, which targeted Derna, an eastern coastal city regarded as a base for fighters of the so-called 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.
Joroushi, who is loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government, which set up camp in the city of Tobruk after losing control of the capital Tripoli, said there would be more strikes on Tuesday.
The war-torn North African state of Libya has been bombed by its neighbour, Egypt, military officials have confirmed. Egyptian jets hit Islamic State targets in Libya in retaliation for the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians. Their deaths were shown in a video released by the so-called Islamic State yesterday.
ITV News' Africa correspondent John Ray reports:
Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya in pre-dawn strike, military officials have said. Militant camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in neighbouring Libya were all hit.
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.
Egyptian state television aired footage of fighter planes leaving a hangar with "Long live Egypt" emblazoned on the tails, followed by night-vision aerial footage showing bomb explosions and the aircraft returning in early daylight.
Egyptian state media ERTU TV has broadcast more footage which they say shows airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya.
Buildings and vehicles can be seen framed in cross-hairs, before they are destroyed.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the country's top cathedral to pay his condolences to Coptic Pope Tawadros II and the Christian community, a day after Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptians in Libya.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim accompanied al-Sisi on his visit.