Turkish flags in Egypt fly at half-mast for slain Copts

CAIRO (AA) – Turkey's embassy in Cairo and its consulate in Alexandria on Tuesday flew the Turkish flag at half-mast to mourn 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians recently killed in Libya by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militant group. 

Turkey's Foreign Ministry directed its diplomatic mission in Egypt to fly the flag at half-mast "to mourn the Egyptians killed by the ISIL in Libya on Sunday," Turkish diplomatic sources told The Anadolu Agency.

"Our consulate flew the flag at half-mast in solidarity with the one-week mourning period declared in Egypt for the 21 slain Egyptians," The Turkish consulate in Alexandria said via Facebook.

On Monday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned the execution of the 21 Egyptians, going on to stress the importance of promoting consensus and dialogue in war-battered Libya.

"The best answer to terrorism is to contribute to the dialogue process and the speedy installment of a national government in Libya for all Libyans," the ministry said in a statement.

On Monday, Egypt carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIL targets in eastern Libya. The strikes followed the appearance online of a video showing the execution by the militant group of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who had travelled to Libya for work.

Libya's internationally-recognized parliament condemned the executions, while the Libyan army said it had coordinated the airstrikes with Egypt's military.

Fractious Libya has remained a source of concern for neighboring Egypt since it descended into chaos following the 2011 ouster and death of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The Egyptian government – citing security concerns – has also banned citizens from travelling to the troubled North African country.

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