Egypt’s Christians bury victims of latest militant attack

Ibrahim Ezzat  Nur

Coptic Christians in Egypt have buried the victims of an attack on buses carrying visitors to a monastery in a northeastern province.

Another 18 people, including children, were wounded in the most serious attack on the minority in more than a year.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's AMAQ news agency said on Friday, without providing evidence of its involvement.

"I mourn with great sorrow the victims who fell today at the traitorous hands that seek to undermine the nation's fabric", Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a statement.

The province of Minya has become known for anti-Christian violence and questions are being asked of Egyptian authorities as to why the route taken by the bus had not been secured.

A man screams beside a bus carrying Coptic Christians which came under attack outside Cairo, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

Assailants reportedly used side roads to reach the main highway and shoot at the buses, which were nearing the monastery.




The US Embassy in Cairo and the German Ambassador to Egypt also strongly condemned the attack and reaffirmed support to Egypt and its people against terrorism.

Coptic Christians are a religious minority in Egypt, making up about 10 percent of the country's population.

Friday's attack is the second to target pilgrims heading to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in as many years, indicating that security measures in place since then are either inadequate or have become lax.

Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman Bouls Halim said the death toll in Friday's attack was likely to rise.

In December past year ISIS claimed responsibility for a gun attack on a Coptic Christian bookshop and church in Cairo that killed nine people. "Do they want us to hate Muslims?" said Michel, 23, who lost a neighbour in the attack. Previous ones targeted churches packed with worshippers in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta north of the capital, leaving at least 100 people dead. An attack in May 2017 left at least 28 people dead. They have long complained of persecution and insufficient protection.

We also highly value the high sense of consciousness of the Egyptian people in regards to the objectives of these terrorist groups against Egypt's security and stability.

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