5 November 2018

In an attack being claimed by ISIS, seven Coptic Christians were killed on a bus near the Saint Samuel Coptic Christian monastery in Minya.

On 2 November 2018, militants attacked a bus near Minya, Egypt, killing at least seven people. Anba Makarios, the archbishop of Minya, stated that the militants “opened fire on a tour bus” and reported that 14 others were wounded during the attack.

Six of the seven killed were members of the same family. Two children were shot dead during the attack, a 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. The person driving the bus was also killed. According to Reuters, those attacked were returning from a baptism at a Coptic monastery, the Saint Samuel Coptic Christian monastery. Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s population, and the minority has been targeted by multiple attacks in the past few years. The Saint Samuel monastery is located close to Minya, a city 270 km south of Cairo. Last year, in May of 2017, an attack which left 28 Christians dead occurred at the same monastery.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, stating “the ambush that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians… was carried out by Islamic State fighters.” However, no evidence was provided to support this claim. They also claimed responsibility for the May 2017 attack.

ISIS has been active in northeastern Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula since 2013 when Islamist president Mohamed Morsi fell from power. In February 2018, the Egyptian army began an offensive against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula. Agence France Press (AFP) reports that since the beginning of this operation, over 450 jihadists and around 30 Egyptian soldiers have been killed.

The US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert condemned the recent attack saying, “We remain steadfast in our support of Egypt's efforts to combat terrorism and violence against religious communities.” On 4 November 2018, the Egyptian interior ministry reported that their security forces killed 19 people linked to the recent attack.




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