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Isis attack on Christian worshippers near Coptic monastery in Egypt kills seven

Attack took place close to where 28 people were shot dead in May 2017

Chris Baynes
Friday 02 November 2018 14:46 GMT
Attack on Christians in Egypt kills 7, Egyptian State TV reports

Isis militants ambushed three buses carrying Christian pilgrims on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, killing seven and wounding 19, according to the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Interior Ministry.

The victims had left St Samuel the Confessor monastery in Minya shortly before the attack on Friday.

All but one of those killed were members of the same family, according to a list of the victims' names released by the church.

The local Isis affiliate which spearheads militants fighting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the extremist group's Amaq news agency.

Though its claim could be not immediately verified, Islamist extremists have previously targeted Christians on the same road south of Cairo.

"Terrorists opened fire on a tour bus from Sohag province, heading back from the... monastery," said Anba Makarious, the Archbishop of Minya.

The buses was travelling as part of a convoy when it came under attack. Security forces surrounded the area and launched a search for the perpetrators.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he was "deeply saddened" and vowed to push ahead with a campaign against militants.

Policemen stand beside the microbus which carried Coptic Christians when gunmen opened fire (Reuters)

"I assert our determination to fight dark terrorism and to pursue the perpetrators," he added.

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The shooting took place close to the spot where gunmen killed 28 Christians who had been travelling to the same monastery in May last year. Isis later claimed responsibility.

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

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