Egypt strikes back after gunmen kill 28 Coptic Christians in bus attack

Twenty-six people have been killed in Egypt after unidentified gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in what officials are calling a terror attack.

Approximately 25 other people were reportedly injured during the attacked, and men, women, and children are among those who were killed or injured.

The Christians had been traveling to the ancient St. Samuel monastery in Minya, a province some 160 miles south of Cairo along the Nile River.

The latest attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for three attacks against churches since December that left about 75 people dead.

President Donald Trump is vowing to crush "evil organizations of terror" following an attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt that killed more than two dozen people near Cairo. Egypt had imposed a nationwide three-month state of emergency after the April bombings, with the option to extend for another three months.

After the Palm Sunday attacks - the "deadliest day of violence" against the Copts in decades - the Atlantic reported that the anti-Copt violence seemed part of "a cold and calculated strategy" by the Islamic State to use sectarian violence in an attempt to "unravel" Egypt.

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

One survivor of the attack told the media that the gunmen were dressed in paramilitary clothes. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility and vowed more attacks. The video showed images of a suicide bomber who killed almost 30 people inside a packed Cairo church in December.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said in Berlin on Friday that Germany "condemns in the strongest possible terms these kinds of attacks on believers" and grieves with the victims and their relatives.

Coptic Christians base their theology on the teachings of the Apostle Mark, who introduced Christianity to Egypt, according to the St. Takla Church in Alexandria, the capital of Coptic Christianity.

The latest attack came after jihadists had threatened more strikes against the Copts, who make up about 10 per cent of Egypt's 90-million population. Attacks on Christian homes, businesses and churches subsequently surged.

  • Leroy Wright