Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

7 killed in Egypt as bus carrying Christian pilgrims is ambushed

7 killed in Egypt as bus carrying Christian pilgrims is ambushed

Since 2016, more than 80 people have been killed and 150 wounded in attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Church spokesperson Bouls Halim told The Associated Press news agency the death toll was likely to rise.

Egypt's state-run newspaper Al-Ahram on Friday quoted an unnamed security official from the Minya governorate who said the main road to the monastery had been closed to vehicles since last year's attack and that the bus attacked today had used an alternative route to reach the monastery.

It's unclear who carried out the attack, with no group claiming responsibility.

Islamic militants have ambushed two buses carrying Christian pilgrims to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, killing seven and wounding up to 16, according to the Interior Ministry.

Egypt's Copts have in the past accused the authorities of making only token gestures to protect them from such attacks.

In May 2017, a similar terrorist attack by gunmen on a bus carrying Coptic pilgrims heading to the same monastery left 30 killed and two dozen injured.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said he was "deeply saddened" by the attack and vowed to push ahead with Egypt's campaign against "terrorism".

The jihadists also have killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers in Egypt in recent years and were allegedly behind a November 2017 attack against a Sinai mosque that killed more than 300 people.

The terror group 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.

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

Several of the attacks have targeted Christians and churches.

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