Gunmen have killed at least 26 Coptic Christians and wounded 25 others as they were driving to a monastery in the Minya province, south of the capital Cairo, Essam Al-Bedaiwy, the provincial governor, confirmed today.
The group were travelling in two buses and a truck through the province to the St Samuel Monastery when between eight to ten attackers dressed in military uniform attacked them. Coptic Christians make up about ten per cent of Egypt's population of 92 million and have been the subject of a series of deadly attacks in recent months.
Since December, around 70 have been killed in bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta claimed by Daesh. There has been no claim of responsibility for today's attack yet.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has recorded 77 sectarian attacks on Coptic Christians in the Minya province alone between 2011 and 2016, as well as many more incidents of vandalism at churches and schools.