At least 7 killed as bus carrying Christians attacked in Egypt

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Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church says gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Christian pilgrims traveling to a remote desert monastery, killing at least seven.

Later on Friday, an IS-linked website reported that militants in Egypt with links to the group had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sources told Ahram Online the buses were using alternative roads to the monastery after the main road was closed a year ago after a similar attack on pilgrims.

In recent years, the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula has seen deadly militant attacks, mainly against security forces.

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"On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying in his bed in a pool of blood", Hamid said while talking to Geo News . Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the martyrdom of the JUI-S chief and expressed huge grief over it.

The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a message via its propaganda agency Amaq.

"I mourn with great sorrow the victims who fell today at the traitorous hands that seek to undermine the nation's fabric", Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said of Friday'a attack.

The Coptic Church in a statement released the names of the seven "martyrs" - including two women - who died in the attack.

Graphic images shared by the church showed children among the injured. The previous attack in May 2017 left almost 30 people dead. The Sohag bus had 28 pilgrims, of whom 9 were wounded, including two in serious condition.

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Bishop Makarios of Minya said the wounded had been taken to a hospital in Beni Mazar, around 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Cairo.

The attack took place very close to the spot where gunmen killed 28 Christians in a similar attack in May past year. The source said authorities were still searching for the attackers.

Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, which makes up an estimated 10 percent of the population, has been a frequent target of attacks and persecution since the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It's also in Minya where most acts of violence, like attacks on churches and Christian homes and businesses, take place.

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