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26 killed and 25 injured in Egypt gun attack
May 26, 2017, 7:54 pm
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Gunmen attacked bus carrying Egyptian Christians in Minya province

At least 26 people were killed and 25 injured on Friday in an attack on a bus carrying Christians in south Egypt, the Health Ministry said.

Unknown gunmen opened fire at the bus on a desert road in the province of Minya, police said. The victims were on their way to to a monastery in Minya early Friday when gunmen driving in three cars opened fire at the bus, police added.

Semi-official newspaper Al Ahram, citing an unnamed church official, said the majority of the bus passengers were children. “What I know that all the children on board were killed except three,” the official told the paper.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. In the aftermath of the attack, police launched a massive manhunt for the assailants, state television reported.

A security cordon was imposed on the area in search of the perpetrators of the attack, the broadcaster added. Grand Imam of Al Azhar Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyab termed the attack an act of terrorism and urged Egypt’s Muslims and Christians to be united.

“This incident aims at striking at Egypt’s stability,” Al Tayyab said in Germany where he is currently on a visit. “I call on Egyptians to join hands against this wanton terrorism,” the prominent cleric added in a statement.

Friday’s attack is the latest targeting Egypt’s Christian minority. Last month, 48 people were killed in suicide attacks on two churches on Palm Sunday in Egypt.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks on churches and vowed more attacks on the country’s Christians. Following the April 9 bombings, Egypt declared a state of emergency for three months.

Christians account for around 10 per cent of Egypt’s mostly Muslim 93 million people.

UAE condemns attack

The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a bus that was carrying Coptic Christians to a monastery in Minya Governorate in the Arab Republic of Egypt, which resulted in deaths and injuries to a large number of people, WAM reported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in a statement, has affirmed the solidarity of the UAE with Egypt, stating that the country stood by Egypt's side in the face of this criminal and malicious act.

"We stand with Egypt and its people against extremism and terrorism," the ministry said, describing this attack as a "new crime added to the black record of terrorism and terrorists.

It called on all countries worldwide to stand together to eradicate this serious scourge, which aims to destroy communities and spread chaos, stoke conflict and division among the people of a country.

The ministry expressed its confidence in the cohesion of the Egyptian people and their ability throughout history "to uphold their national unity and unique social fabric to defeat this abhorrent terrorism by all means".

It extended the condolences of the UAE leadership, government and its people to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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