Dozens dead after attack on Coptic Christian buses in Egypt

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the incident - the fourth deadly attack targeting Christians since December past year when a suicide bomber struck a chapel next to St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 people.

The detentions took place during raids in the desert terrain of the Minya governorate where the attack took place, and other regions of Egypt's south, the Al-Ahram newspaper said Sunday, citing sources in the security services.

On Saturday, a statement of the armed forces said that the Egyptian military is continuing to carry out air strikes against militant training camps outside the country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the fourth to target Christians since December, but it bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group.

Hours later, Egypt responded with airstrikes against terrorist camps, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in an on-camera statement, according to state-run Nile TV.

Egypt's said it conducted retaliatory air strikes on jihadi camps in the eastern Libyan city of Derna later on Friday.

Martin Schaefer told reporters 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.

Dozens dead after attack on Coptic Christian buses in Egypt

Egypt has been fighting Islamic State group-linked militants who have waged an insurgency, mainly focused in the volatile north of the Sinai Peninsula but there have been also attacks on the mainland.

"They chose death", said Mr Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government's handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35 per cent of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt. In December, a suicide bomber targeted a Cairo church.

Masked gunmen stopped a group of Coptic Christians heading to St Samuel's monastery in Upper Egypt's Minya province Friday. "Terrorists are engaged in a war against civilisation, and it is up to all who value life to confront and defeat this evil".

The authorities of Egypt stated on Saturday that the attackers who were involved in the massacre of Christians near a monastery were trained in Libya.

The militant Islamic group Hamas that rules Gaza condemned Friday's attack, the Associated Press reported.

El-Sissi told Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, in a phone call late on Friday that his government would not rest until the perpetrators of the attack were punished. These people are atheist and we are the believers of God.

  • Leroy Wright