The governor of Egypt’s Minya province, Essam al-Bedaiwy, has announced that at least 28 people have been confirmed dead and scores injured when a group of unidentified gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians as they made their way to a monastery south of Cairo on Friday. Among the dead and injured are non combatants, women and children.
According to eye witness reports, the group, who were traveling in two buses and a small truck in Minya province were attacked by masked gunmen as they were going to pray at the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in the western part of the province.
The reports indicates that the said masked men stopped the vehicles on a road leading to the monastery and opened fire. Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million, have been the subject of a series of deadly attacks in recent months.
About 70 have been killed in bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta since December and those attacks were claimed by Islamic State, but there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack.
You would recall that two suicide bombings killed 44 people in Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, promptly declared a three-month state of emergency, with the UN Security Council also condemning the attack.
The council expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Egypt, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.