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Egypt

Terrorist attack on Coptic Christians

2 Nov 2018

At least seven Coptic Christians have been killed and eleven injured in a terrorist attack today, 2 November. The attack was carried out on a bus taking Christians on their way to visit the monastery of Anba Samuel the Confessor in the governorate of Minya in Upper Egypt.

CSW sources said that the victims had travelled from the city of Suhag, approximately 300 kilometres south of Minya. It is thought that the attackers were in a four wheel drive vehicle, and that they disappeared into the desert after opening fire on the bus.

Police and army have since arrived at the scene and the investigation remains ongoing.

Egyptian President Sisi issued a message of condolence on his twitter account in which he expressed his sorrow for the “loss of the martyrs,” wished a swift recovery for the injured, and reaffirmed his commitment to combat terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice.

Egypt’s Coptic community has been the target of numerous attacks in recent years. In May 2017, 28 Coptic Christians were killed and 23 injured in the same location when masked gunmen opened fire on the vehicles they were travelling in. Recent months have seen several instances in which mobs have stormed Coptic churches, demanding their closure and damaging property.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW extends its deepest condolences to all who have lost loved ones in this attack.  CSW calls upon the Egyptian authorities to increase its efforts to contain and combat sectarianism, this requires upholding constitutional rights and ensuring that all citizens are treated equally. Egypt must end all forms of discrimination against Christians and other religious minorities; this includes restrictions on building places of worship for non-Muslims and state-sponsored reconciliation sessions depriving victims from their rights and emphasising the culture of impunity.”

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