Egypt launches airstrikes on Islamic State in Libya after mass beheadings of its nationals there, as Cairo residents remain numb with horror at the killings. Mana Rabiee reports.
Egypt says its air force bombed Islamic State targets inside Libya at dawn on Monday -- one day after the group released gruesome video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians there who had gone to Libya looking for work. Libya's air force participated in the strikes, which hit IS camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in Libya. A Libyan airforce commander said 40-50 militants were killed and more strikes were coming today and tomorrow. On the sidewalks of Cairo, Egyptians are still numb with horror at the killings. Images of the beheadings posted online showed the water's edge where the killings took place literally red with blood. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CAIRO RESIDENT, MOHSEN ALY, SAYING: "I swear this is a criminal terrorist act done by people who have absolutely nothing to do with religion, and really, personally, I didn't sleep last night after what happened, all Egyptians couldn't sleep." Arab League Secretary Nabil Elaraby condemned the killings and threw his support behind Egypt's bombing of Islamic State targets. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL, NABIL ELARABY, SAYING: "Of course what happened is a barbaric and savage terrorist act that goes back to the Stone Age, and I can't imagine who would do that. Egypt has every right to defend itself and it must take steps against this type of terrorism carried out by those fundamentalists." The strikes mark an escalation in Cairo's battle against the militants. It also shows the readiness of Egyptian President Fatttah al-Sisi to expand his fight against Islamic militancy beyond Egypt's borders. Civil conflict has plunged Libya into near anarchy and Sisi sees radical groups in Libya as a major treat to Egypt's security.