Egypt: Deadly attack on bus headed to Coptic Christian monastery

02 November, 2018, 22:57 | Author: Myra Gill
  • The Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo’s Shubra al Kheima district was the target of a previous attack

At least seven people have been killed in Egypt by gunmen who opened fire on a bus carrying a group of Coptic Christians, officials say. It was carrying a family that had traveled to the monastery for the baptism of one of its children, according to the spokesman.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State, who have for years been fighting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and along Egypt's porous desert border with Libya.

Since 2016, more than 80 people have been killed and 150 wounded in attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. He later offered his condolences when he spoke by telephone with Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of Egypt's Orthodox Christians and a close el-Sissi ally.

The group was heading to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, located in the western desert. The previous attack in May 2017 left almost 30 people dead.

The attack previous year was the latest in a deadly series that targeted churches in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta north of the capital. They have also underlined the vulnerability of minority Christians in a country where many Muslims have since the 1970s grown religiously conservative. He had earlier said the bus was approaching the monastery. Only pilgrims have been allowed on the main road leading to the monastery since last year's attack. The source said authorities were still searching for the attackers.

Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, which makes up an estimated 10 percent of the population, has been a frequent target of attacks and persecution since the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The archbishop of Minya told Reuters news agency that at least seven people were killed and 14 wounded in the attack.

Several of the attacks have targeted Christians and churches.



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