‘ISIS claims deadly attack on Egyptian Christians’
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.