Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Egypt: Gunmen kill 7 driving to Coptic Christian monastery

Egypt: Gunmen kill 7 driving to Coptic Christian monastery

Screen capture from a video released by an Islamic State group affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula and threatening Egypt's Christian Coptic community, February 20, 2017.

At least seven people have been killed in an assault on a bus heading towards a monastery in northern Egypt, according to a Coptic Church official.

Bishop Makarios of Minya said the wounded had been taken to a hospital in Beni Mazar, around 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Cairo.

A security official confirmed the attack, adding that there were "dead and wounded". ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.

"Those who carried out the ambush... in Minya are fighters of the Islamic State", Amaq said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Attackers also fired at two other buses at the same site Friday, the church spokesperson said.

"I mourn with deep sorrow the martyrs who were killed today by treacherous hands which aim to undermine the solid fabric of the nation, and I wish speedy recovery for the injured", El-Sisi said.

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Egypt's prosecutor's office said it had received reports of "gunfire targeting a bus carrying a group of Copts returning from the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor".

Egypt's Christians account for some 10 percent of the country's 100 million people.

A similar attack took place in May 2017, when gunmen fired at a bus carrying Christians to the same monastery, killing at least 28 people.

Church spokesman Bouls Halim said the death toll in Friday's attack was likely to rise.

A year earlier, a suicide bomber killed nearly 30 worshipers at a church in Cairo located in the Saint Mark's Cathedral complex, the seat of the Coptic papacy.

A young boy grieves next to the coffins of his parents who were killed during a bus attack, during their funeral service at Ava Samuel desert monastery in Minya, Egypt, May 26, 2017.

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