Bus carrying Copts attacked in Minya, at least 7 killed

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Coptic Christian in the Egypt City of Minya prepared to bury their dead, a day after militants ambushed three buses carrying Christian pilgrims on their way to a remote desert.

At least 7 Christians were killed and over a dozen others injured in an attack in Egypt on Friday.

The IS affiliate claimed that 13 Christians were killed and another 18 wounded, but it was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim or reconcile the discrepancy in the number of dead and wounded given by the group and the church.

- January 1: A blast kills 23 and wounds 79, mostly Christians, as they leave a Coptic church after New Year's mass in Alexandria.

Daesh has repeatedly stated its intention to target Egypt's Christians as a punishment for their support of President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, who, as defence minister, led the military's 2013 ouster of a president, whose one-year rule proved divisive. In August, a would-be suicide bomb attack against Copts in Cairo was thwarted after the attacker's explosive device detonated en route to a Christian church, killing only himself.

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

Christians account for around 10 per cent of Egypt's predominantly Muslim population of about 100 million.

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On Saturday, el-Sissi is to open the World Youth Forum in the Sharm El Sheikh resort in Sinai, which has also seen deadly militant attacks.

The extremist group previously killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April 2017 and a month later shot dead nearly 30 Christians in the Minya province as they headed to a monastery on a bus.

Coptic Christians in the Egyptian town of Minya, south of the capital of Cairo, held a funeral on Saturday for the victims of an ISIS-claimed terror attack. The previous attack in May 2017 left almost 30 people dead.

The public prosecutor said a team of investigators has been dispatched to the scene of the attack to investigate.

The attacks led to tighter security around Christian places of worship and Church-linked facilities, where metal detectors and armed police are routinely deployed.

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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