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Amnesty Condemns Egypt for Killing 7 Civilians in Airstrikes

A report published yesterday has condemned Egypt's airstrikes on Libya as eye-witness statements claim that a residential area in Derna was hit, leading the foreign ministry to question Amnesty International's intentions.

Citing eyewitnesses, Amnesty International released a report on Tuesday condemning Egypt for killing seven civilians during airstrikes against ISIS-affiliated group targets in Derna, Libya. Expressing his “extreme astonishment and discontent” is foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Aty, who accuses the report of containing false information.

In response to the horrific execution video where 21 Egyptian Copts were beheaded by ISIS affiliated militants in Libya, Egypt launched airstrikes. Before doing so Egypt was very strategic in their attacks, coordinating with the Libyan army to focus strikes on terrorist-held territories, while abiding by international laws. Despite taking precautions, Egypt’s authorities were shocked and upset at the Amnesty report which contains alleged testimonies by residents who claimed two missiles had landed in the heavily populated residential area of Sheiha al-Gharbiya in Derna.

"Egypt considers and abides by international agreements and standards, and the targets against this terrorist organisation were carefully chosen, as the airstrike focused on the training camps and weaponry reserves of terrorist organisation IS," said Badr Abdel-Aty in a foreign ministry statement. The spokesperson added that Egypt had used its right to self-defence in according to the UN charter and worked with the Libyan government, which asked Egypt for support in dealing with the danger of "terrorist organisations including IS."

Obviously any report about innocent lives needlessly being lost in the chaos of war deserves an investigation or explanation. However, in this instance Amnesty International seems to be holding Egypt to higher standard, considering how many major countries routinely launch airstrikes or drone strikes that cause hundreds of casulties of war.  

"It is surprising that these organisations, including Amnesty, were keen on ignoring those facts with the claim they happened unintentionally, which raises questions about how serious they are and the reality of their intentions, and about their strategy of double standards and selectiveness when it comes to the actions of major countries," added Abdel-Aty.