28 Coptic Christians, including ten children, were killed in a shooting attack on a deserted road about 62 miles northwest of the city of Minya, Egypt on Friday and at least 23 others were injured, some critically. On Saturday, the Islamic State (ISIS) news Agency, Aamaq, reported that the terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Three four-wheel drive vehicles carrying at least ten gunmen flagged down the two buses and one truck carrying people on a desolate desert road to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor. Presenting themselves as security personnel and dressed in army fatigues, the terrorists ordered the pilgrims off the buses and took their cell phones. The men were ordered to recite the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith, and many were shot execution style with one bullet to the head.
Egypt has seen a sharp rise in attacks against Christians, who represent 10 percent of the country’s 91 million residents. The country is still under a three month state of emergency following two Palm Sunday bombings last month which killed at least 45 and injured at least 126. The bombings were carried out by Islamic State (ISIS) affiliated groups.
This recent attack came as the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan begins.
Several hours after the attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced that in response his country launched six airstrikes against militant training bases in Libya.