‘ISIS claims deadly at­tack on Egyp­tian Chris­tians’

Sunday Observer - - NEWS -

CAIRO - Gun­men at­tacked a bus car­ry­ing Cop­tic Chris­tians in cen­tral Egypt on Fri­day, killing seven in the lat­est as­sault on the re­li­gious mi­nor­ity claimed by the Is­lamic State group.

The at­tack­ers opened fire on the bus of pil­grims in Minya prov­ince af­ter they had vis­ited a monastery, the lo­cal bishop told AFP.

Bishop Makar­ios of Minya said the wounded had been taken to a hospi­tal in Beni Mazar, around 200km south of Cairo.

The at­tack took place on the road back from the Saint Sa­muel monastery, he added, as the bus was head­ing to the city of So­hag.

A se­cu­rity source con­firmed that seven peo­ple were killed in the at­tack and seven wounded.

The Is­lamic State group claimed the at­tack in a mes­sage via its pro­pa­ganda agency Amaq.

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

Egyp­tian state tele­vi­sion said se­cu­rity forces were on Fri­day af­ter­noon still in pur­suit of the at­tack- ers.

Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah al-Sisi of­fered his sup­port to the vic­tims in a state­ment on Twit­ter.

"I am mourn­ing with deep sad­ness the mar­tyrs who fell to­day at the hands of traitors who are try­ing to harm the tightly-knit fab­ric of the na­tion," Sisi said.

"I wish the wounded a quick re­cov­ery and con­firm our de­ter­mi­na­tion to con­tinue our ef­forts to fight the dark­ness of ter­ror­ism and pur­sue the crim­i­nals."

Egypt's pros­e­cu­tors 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".

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 Is­lamic State ji­hadist group.

ISIS killed more than 40 peo­ple in twin church bomb­ings in April 2017 and a month later shot dead 28 Chris­tians in Minya prov­ince.

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