28 Coptic Christians killed by gunmen in central Egypt

Egypt's state-run Nile News TV channel shows image of a bus that was attacked while carrying Egyptian Christians in Minya province, about 150 miles south of Cairo. (Tv Grab/AFP/Getty Images)
Egypt’s state-run Nile News TV channel shows image of a bus that was attacked while carrying Egyptian Christians in Minya province, about 150 miles south of Cairo. (Tv Grab/AFP/Getty Images)

By Heba Farouk

Militants in military-style uniforms opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt on Friday, killing at least 28 people in the latest bloodshed targeting the country’s Christian minority, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the Islamic State has claimed links to previous attacks against Egypt’s Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the population.

The attack also took place on the eve of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, a time when some militant factions have stepped up attacks in the past.

The ambush — in the Minya region about 150 miles south of Cairo — underscored the increasing pressures on Egyptian forces as Islamist militants gain greater footholds around the country, undercutting Egypt’s vital tourism industry and forcing greater security for Coptic Christians and others targeted by militants.

The Minya governor, Maj. Gen. Essam el-Bedewey, said at least 28 people were killed and at least 25 were wounded when the attackers fired on the bus heading for the St. Samuel Monastery, one of several pilgrimage sites in an area that is home to a large portion of Egypt’s Christian population.

The Reuters news agency and other reports said children were among the dead.

A member of the region’s security department, Maj. Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, told reporters that about 10 men wearing military-style gear carried out the attack.

Last month, twin bomb blasts rocked churches in the Mediterranean port of Alexandria and the northern city of Tanta, leaving 44 dead and prompting Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, to declare a state of emergency.

After the latest attack, Sissi called an emergency meeting of security officials, state-run media reported.

In late April, Pope Francis visited Egypt as part of Vatican outreach to Egypt’s embattled Christians, whose community dates back to the early centuries of the faith. But the papal trip also brought denunciations from Islamist militants and warnings of further reprisals.

In December, a bomb hit the main cathedral in Cairo, killing 25 people as part of what is being described as a new strategy by the Islamic State to target Christians.

Christians have been generally supportive of Sissi’s military-backed government, but have become increasingly critical of the inability of the country’s security forces to protect their places of worship.

“The state is doing its best, but we need more efforts,” Minya’s Coptic Bishop Makarios told The Washington Post. “They [security forces] are always present and on guard after the attack takes place, and keep their security measures tightened for a short while after. . . . What we need is real effort exerted to ensure this is not repeated, not just solidarity and compassion.”





9 responses to “28 Coptic Christians killed by gunmen in central Egypt”

  1. Niemals Avatar

    It seems that the Islamic State target Christians (9% Orthodox Christian) AGAIN, and that in a country that is dominated by 90% of Muslim and 1% of other Christians!

  2. man-o-war Avatar

    I’m sure Trumps bestie al sissy will go after them. Disgusting cowards only target the defenseless. Not sure why any Christians in Egypt would be traveling in large groups without heavy armed presence escorting them.

  3. Danny Farah Avatar
    Danny Farah

    Al Sissi is a con artist and he is not protecting his own people not even the muslims. he could careless about the Christians and he is showoff. all the ones arrested prior to other bombings were released. he is a terrorist himself and only goes after his own people. The west should shun him and stop providing cover for him. But the Christians of egypt have not learned anything. Carry some damned weapons with you and shot at them back. And arrest them if you can and embarrass the hell of Sissi and the muslims. The SHeik of al azhar words is not enough you jackass and it’s time to strike your fear in those terrorists. all you do is some nice words. go screw your fatima and your little boys you daesh scumbag..

  4. Arzna Avatar

    Sissi reportedly refuses to acknowledge the differences between Christians and Muslims, he does not see Copts as a minority in need of protection and is therefore not willing to extend the necessary measures to proactively protect against or respond to attacks.
    Most troubling, the Sissi government has done little to end anti-Coptic violence. This is not the first time the Copts of Minya face violence and massacres. In October 2011 27 were killed and 31 jailed .In addition little progress has been made on the reconstruction of churches that were damaged in the wave of sectarian attacks in 2013, despite government promises to do so.
    Furthermore the Copts in Egypt are disproportionally represented in the parliament. While the Copts form about 10 % of the population there are only 36 Coptic ( 6 %) members in the Egyptian 596 member parliament .
    All The minorities in the Middle East require special protection and the leaders of these countries have to recognize this very serious situation and do something about it

    1. Danny Farah Avatar
      Danny Farah

      no he only sees his regime as a minority that needs protection. otherwise he only goes after children and make them disappear. how tough he is. Even the previous muslim brotherhood president the copts.. did not suffer that much.

    2. Hind Abyad Avatar
      Hind Abyad

      YaLibnan MSM propaganda..
      Stop shedding crocodile tears for Copts only, not Iraqi and Syria Christians.

      1. AbyadGoebbels

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