Seven Dead In IS Attack On Bus Carrying Egyptian Christians

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The Egyptian group linked to the self-styled " Islamic State" (IS) had previously called for attacks on Coptic Christians.

Islamic militants on Friday ambushed a bus carrying Christian pilgrims on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital, killing at least seven and wounding a dozen more, the Interior Ministry said.

Isil killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April 2017 and a month later shot dead 28 Christians in Minya province as they headed to a monastery on a bus.

In a somber message of his own, Tawadros said in a video clip released by the church that the latest attack would only make the Christians stronger.

Heavy deployments of security forces blocked roads leading towards the scene of the shooting, an AFP reporter said.

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Security officials said at least another 12 people were wounded in the attack, which bore the hallmarks of Islamic militants.

Friday's assault comes a day before President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi opens a major world youth forum in the Sinai resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh, which authorities hope will showcase security in the area. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery and affirm our determination to continue our efforts to combat terrorism and to prosecute the perpetrators.

The main road to the monastery has been closed according to security instructions as it is located in a risky zone in the desert, in addition to the unavailability of communication network in its surroundings, the source said, adding that the victims used sub-roads to reach the monastery.

The health minister and minister of social solidarity were dispatched by Sisi to Minya.

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

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According to the Archbishop in Minya, the attack took place in nearly the same place as one by Islamist militants which killed 28 Christians in May 2017.

The government imposed a three-month state of emergency across the country after the April 2017 church bombings.

Islamist militants have targeted Egypt's Coptic Christian minority repeatedly in recent years.

The military offensive - Dubbed "Sinai 2018" - has killed more than 450 jihadists, according to an army estimate, while around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed during this year's operation.

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