Saturday, 3 November 2018

Seven killed in attack on Coptic Christian bus in Egypt

The attack on the bus took place near a monastery. (Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church via AP)

The pilgrims were on their way to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery when they were attacked.

The pilgrims were on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital in Minya province

CAIRO: Seven people were killed and 20 wounded on the three buses carrying the Coptic Christians.

The attack took place near the remote desert monastery of St. Samuel in Minya province.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi offered condolences for the victims and vowed to push ahead with a campaign to crush militants in the country.

"I wish for a speedy recovery to the injured and our determination is to fight dark terrorism and to pursue the perpetrators," El-Sisi said.

Security forces rushed to the scene and ambulatory ferries which were injured to nearby hospitals, a security source told Arab News.

Egypt's Coptic priest Agathon visit woman at Sheikh Fadel hospital, she was injured in the attack. (AFP)

Daesh, which has carried out similar attacks, said it was behind the massacre. The extremist militants have been fighting security forces in the Sinai Peninsula and along Egypt's border with Libya.

The attacks were widely condemned, including Saudi Arabia, which said it stood by Egypt against acts of terror and offered condolences to the victims' families.

Friday's Pilgrims vs. the St Samuel's monastery in as many years. A Daesh attack on a bus in convoy in May 2017 killed at least 29 people.

A security source told Arab News that the bus attack has been closed by the police for security reasons since the 2017 attack. The communication networks in the area have also been disrupted for the same reason.

Al-Adwa, Beni Mazar and Maghagha hospitals were declared a state of emergency as they treated the injured.

A spokesman for the monastery, Peter Lahami, said there were serious injuries and could increase.

Another church source said the bus had come from Margarijs in Sohag.

Coptic expert Robier Al-Faris said that after Egypt's major security operation in Sinai to clear militant from the peninsula, some extremists had spreads to continue attacks.

The Egyptian security forces have recently carried out several raids on militant targets, training camps and support centers in Upper Egypt.

Last week, 11 extremists from the mountainous area of ​​Dashlout-Farafra in Assiut province were killed.

A week before, nine militants were killed in a mountain cave in a remote area of ​​Assiut.

The attack last year was the latest in a deadly series that targeted the churches in Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta in the Nile Delta

Those attacks, all claimed by Daesh, killed at least 100 people and led Church-linked facilities.

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