Dead in Attack on Coptic Christian Pilgrims in Egypt

At least 7 killed as bus carrying Christians attacked in Egypt

At least 7 killed as bus carrying Christians attacked in Egypt

Seven were killed and at least 7 were wounded after unknown gunmen shot at a bus transporting a group of Coptic Christians in Egypt's Minya governorate on Friday, Al Ahram reports.

In December 2017 an IS killed nine people in an attack on a church in a south Cairo suburb. Earlier Friday, the church television channel had said 10 people were killed.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Church allied itself with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi when he, as defense minister, led the 2013 military overthrow of an Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

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The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, and the security officials said Friday's attackers used secondary dirt roads to reach the buses carrying the pilgrims, who were near the monastery at the time of the attack. "They are misled because all the grief, pain and frustration they cause will achieve absolutely nothing".

Graphic images shared by the church showed children among the injured. "Egypt is the target here and we all know that".

The gunmen "killed seven people and wounded 14, all of whom are in the Sheikh Fadel hospital in Beni Mazar" around 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Cairo, said Bishop Makarios of Minya. They have also underlined the vulnerability of minority Christians in a country where many Muslims have since the 1970s grown religiously conservative.

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A man screams beside a bus carrying Coptic Christians which came under attack outside Cairo. Only pilgrims have been allowed on the main road leading to the monastery since last year's attack.

Security forces are now searching for the unknown gunmen who carried out the terror attack on the bus, the sources said.

Copts, a Christian minority that make up 10 per cent of Egypt's 96 million people, have in recent years been repeatedly targeted by the ISIS.

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The province of Minya has become known for anti-Christian violence and questions are being asked of Egyptian authorities as to why the route taken by the bus had not been secured.

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