More than 20 are dead—many of them reportedly children—in a Friday attack in Egypt on two buses and a truck that were transporting Coptic Christians to a monastery.
The attackers reportedly rode up in pickup trucks and opened fire on the buses in Egypt’s Minya province, about 220 kilometers from Cairo.
26 Minyan Copts, including children have been shot and killed and 40 injured in an attack on a bus traveling to St Samuel Monastery in Egypt pic.twitter.com/YqGwA6A9fg
— Ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ⳯Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ (@copticulture) May 26, 2017
Minya governor Essam el-Bedawi told the state media that the gunmen used automatic weapons. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, though an analyst told Al Jazeera that ISIS was likely to blame, as ISIS announced in February that they were declaring war on Egypt’s Coptic population.
“It is very possible that this is part of that campaign,” Timothy Kaldas of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy said.
Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, and have been a frequent target for armed groups. More than 45 were killed on Palm Sunday last April in twin bombings that rocked Alexandria and Tanta churches.