Egypt's Authorities Apprehend Suspects in Probe Into Attack on Coptic Christians

According to France 24, attacks connected to ISIS have killed more than 100 members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority since December.

In December an IS suicide bomber attacked another church in Cairo, killing 29 people.

The claim was carried by the Amaq News Agency, which is linked to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US -based group that tracks jihadist organizations and their online activities.

On Friday, masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying almost 50 Coptic Christians on a visit to a monastery south of the Egyptian capital.

"The eagles of our nation returned following the successful execution of their tasks", the army said in a statement, referring to the Egyptian air force pilots who carried out the air strikes on militant training camps in the neighbouring country.

Friday's attack followed two suicide bombings of churches in April that killed 45 Copts.

Coptic Christians, which make up about 10 per cent of Egypt's 91 million population, have faced persecution in Egypt, which has spiked since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011. The gunmen then fired at the vehicles with automatic weapons before fleeing in three 4x4 vehicles, they added.

"What you've seen today will not go unpunished", President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a televised address late on Friday.

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.

"Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror bases anywhere".

The air force loyal to Libya's strongman Khalifa Haftar said Saturday it took part in Egyptian air strikes on jihadist positions in the country after a deadly attack on Egypt's Copts.

The attack drew immediate condemnation from Israel.

On the other hand, the King congratulated Sisi on the beginning of Ramadan, a holy month in Islam's lunar calendar.

After a visit to Egypt last month by Pope Francis, Isis vowed to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies.

No group immediately said it was behind the attack. IS also signaled while claiming responsibility that more attacks were coming: "The Crusaders and their tails from the apostates must be aware that the bill between us and them is very large and they will be paying it like a river of blood from their sons, if God willing".

  • Leroy Wright