Islamist gunmen killed at least seven Coptic Christian pilgrims in Egypt on Friday and wounded at least 16 in an attack later claimed by the Islamic State.
The attack — an ambush on two buses — ended a nearly yearlong lull in major attacks on Copts in Egypt, and may signal a resumption of the Islamic State’s campaign to sow sectarian divisions in Egyptian society.
It was also a setback for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has put security concerns at the heart of his autocratic style of rule and has repeatedly vowed to protect Christians, a minority in the country, from attack.
The shooting occurred as two buses carrying pilgrims left the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, 85 miles south of Cairo, in Egypt’s Western Desert.
Reported deadly attack on #Coptic #Orthodox pilgrims in busses enroute to ancient monastery in Upper Egypt with multiple fatalities and injuries. Praying for casualties, survivors mourners and all those affected, as well as safety on all our faithful brethren in #Egypt.
— Archbishop Angaelos ن (@BishopAngaelos) November 2, 2018