Masked gunmen kill 28 in attack on Christians in Egypt

May 26, 2017 | By | Reply More

Gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in central Egypt on Friday, killing 28 people and wounding 24, with many children among the victims, Health Ministry officials said.

gunmenThere was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan. It followed a series of church bombings claimed by Islamic State in a campaign of violence against the Copts.

Islamic State supporters reposted videos from earlier this year urging violence against the Copts in Egypt.

Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the Christians, who were in a bus and other vehicles. Local TV channels showed a bus apparently raked by gunfire and smeared with blood.

Clothes and shoes could be seen lying in and around the bus, while the bodies of some of the victims lay in the sand nearby, covered with black sheets.

The attack, which Egypt’s Muslim leaders condemned, happened 15 km (10 miles) from the monastery, a security official on the scene told.

Police armed with assault rifles formed a security perimeter and officials from the public prosecutor’s office were gathering evidence and fingerprints. Heavily armed Special Forces arrived later wearing face masks and body armor.

One of the vehicles attacked was taking men to carry out maintenance work at the monastery while another had children on board, officials said.

Dozens of people gathered at the emergency area of a local hospital. Some carried a wooden coffin to a hearse.

The Coptic Church said it had received news of the killing of its “martyrs” with pain and sorrow.

The attack took place on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority. An Interior Ministry spokesman said the unidentified gunmen had arrived in three four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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