Masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians on a visit to a monastery south of the Egyptian capital on Friday, killing at least 28 people, including children, officials said.
The assailants in three pick-up trucks attacked the bus as it carried visitors to the Saint Samuel monastery in Minya province, more than 200 kilometres from Cairo, before fleeing, the interior ministry said.
It was the latest attack on Copts after Islamic State group jihadists bombed three churches in December and April, killing dozens of Christians. Pictures of the bus aired by state television showed the vehicle riddled with machinegun fire and its windows shot out. Cellphone footage and pictures circulated on Egyptian media sites showed several victims who had apparently been shot dead scattered in the desert sand around the bus.
State television quoted a health ministry official as saying a “large number” of the victims were children. “They used automatic weapons,” Minya governor Essam el-Bedawi said.
The attack comes after jihadists had threatened more strikes against the Copts, who make up about 10 per cent of Egypt’s 90-million population....