Dozens dead as gunmen attack bus of Coptic Christians in Egypt

At least 23 people have been killed and another 25 injured by gunmen who attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians near the city of Minya, according to Egyptian authorities.

The bus was ambushed by unknown gunmen near a Christian monastery on Friday morning and the Egyptian health ministry said there were dozens of casualties.

A Coptic activist said the bus and an accompanying car were attacked as they drove along an unpaved road towards the St Samuel monastery, around 140 miles south of Cairo.

"They were on their way to the Monastery of Anba Samuel the Confessor," said Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). ​

"They were ambushed on their way to the monastery, while on an unpaved road leading to the monastery. The car was carrying workers in the monastery and the bus carrying visitors."

Mr Ibrahim said that the number of people killed could exceed 28.

The shooting is the latest in a string of bloody attacks against Egypt’s Coptic minority in the last year, many of them carried out by the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).  

Around 45 people were killed in a pair of suicide bombings at Christian churches on Palm Sunday in April. Isil claimed credit for the attacks.

An Isil suicide bomber also killed 29 people in a church in Cairo in December and jihadists have carried out a coordinated campaign of killings against Christians in the Sinai, causing many to flee from their homes.

There are around 10 million Christians in Egypt, making up around 10 per cent of the country's population of 90 million.

Source: The Telegraph