Gunmen kill 23 Christians on road to monastery in Egypt

27 Mai, 2017, 03:51 | Author: Come Portier
  • Gunmen kill 23 Christians on road to monastery in Egypt

The victims were traveling from the nearby province of Bani Suief to visit the monastery.

Ten assailants wearing fatigues and face masks fired on the passengers from three four-wheel drive vehicles, Egypt's Interior Ministry told CNN.

I am heartbroken by the news of another bad attack on men, women and children, murdered due to their faith in Jesus Christ. Numerous dead are said to be children. Bodies lay on the ground, covered with black plastic sheets.

"While we appreciate the fast response by officials in dealing with the event, we hope that necessary procedures are undertaken to avoid such attacks, which damage Egypt's image and cause Egyptians a great deal of pain", the statement added.

The Copts have always been a prime target of extremists: They were hit in a massive church bombing just weeks before the country's 2011 Arab Spring uprising, and Islamic militants gave them a particular focus during a crackdown in the 1990s. In December, a suicide bomber targeted a Cairo church. The group recently warned Egyptian Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings because it intends to carry out more attacks.

Christians make up about 10% of Egypt's 83-million population, as the country is predominantly Muslim. It marks a change from former President Barack Obama, who often kept el-Sissi at a distance and criticized Egypt's human rights record and suspended some US military aid.

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.

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President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisis - who is due to meet his top aides in light of Friday's attack - has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants.

President Donald Trump today decried an attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt that left at least 28 dead, calling on allies to band together to defeat terrorism. "[Egypt] hit the same area two years ago after an Islamic State affiliate beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya".

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.

During the trip, Francis paid tribute to the victims of the December bombing at Cairo's St. Peter's church, which is located in close proximity to the St. Mark's cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Gunmen had opened fire on Christians in the third attack that targets Egypt's Copts in six months.

Me el-Sissi warned that Egypt will strike at any bases that train militants who wage attacks in the country, wherever they may be.

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