Egypt: Gunmen attack Christians, killing at least 23

In April, dozens of people were killed in two separate bombings on churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

Egypt has seen a spate of attacks since 2013, when the army deposed Islamist president Mohammad Morsi, the country's first democratically elected leader, following mass protests against his divisive rule.

Those attacks were claimed by Islamic State (IS).

The death toll was announced by a spokesman for Egypt's health ministry.

"They were ambushed on their way to the monastery, while on an unpaved road leading to the monastery". Early reports indicate at least 28 dead and 22 injured - including numerous children.

State television quoted a health ministry official as saying a "large number" of the victims were children.

The state-owned Middle East News Agency says the attack was condemned by Ahmed el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt's Al Azhar mosque.

Copts believe that their Church dates back to about 50 AD, when the Apostle Mark is said to have visited Egypt.

What is the Coptic Christian faith?

Pope Francis visited Egypt late last month in part to show his support for the Christians of this majority-Muslim Arab nation who have been increasingly targeted by Islamic militants.

Minya is located 140 miles south of Cairo.

Recently they have been a victim of such attacks.

Copts make up about 10% of Egypt's population of 92 million. Attacks on Christian homes, businesses and churches subsequently surged, especially in the country's south, the heartland of Egypt's Christians. More recently, some Christians have complained that the government was not doing enough to protect them.

  • Zachary Reyes