Egyp­tian po­lice kill 19 ji­hadist sus­pects linked to Copt at­tack

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Nine­teen sus­pected ji­hadists linked to a deadly at­tack on Cop­tic Chris­tians in cen­tral Egypt have been killed in a shootout with po­lice, the in­te­rior min­istry said Sun­day.

Those killed in the ex­change of fire were part of a cell that left dead seven pil­grims in Fri­day’s at­tack in Minya prov­ince, a state­ment by the min­istry said.

“The ter­ror­ist el­e­ments opened fire on the [se­cu­rity] forces who re­sponded,” the state­ment said.

The 19 sus­pected ji­hadists were found “as part of a pur­suit of ter­ror­ist el­e­ments in­volved in car­ry­ing out hos­tile op­er­a­tions in the coun­try, in­clud­ing the last armed at­tack which tar­geted ci­ti­zens re­turn­ing from the Saint Sa­muel monastery,” the min­istry said. The Is­lamic State group (IS) claimed Fri­day’s at­tack in a mes­sage via its pro­pa­ganda agency Amaq.

Raids were un­der­taken in the moun­tain­ous western desert of Minya prov­ince to track down the “fugi­tive ter­ror­ist el­e­ments,” the min­istry said.

Copts, a Chris­tian mi­nor­ity that make up 10 per­cent of Egypt’s 97 mil­lion peo­ple, have been re­peat­edly tar­geted by IS.

In May 2017, masked gun­men or­dered Chris­tians trav­el­ing to Saint Sa­muel to get off their buses and re­cant their faith. The group re­fused and was shot one by one, leav­ing 28 peo­ple dead.

IS also killed more than 40 peo­ple in twin church bomb­ings in April 2017 and an IS gun­man in De­cem­ber killed nine peo­ple in an at­tack on a church in a south Cairo sub­urb.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.