ISIS claims responsibility for attack on Egyptian Christians

Sign on road to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Upper Egypt's Minya

Sign on road to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Upper Egypt's Minya

At least seven people have been killed in an assault on a bus heading towards a monastery in northern Egypt, according to a Coptic Church official. It has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks on Christians dating back to December 2016.

A young boy grieves next to the coffins of his parents who were killed during a bus attack, during their funeral service at Ava Samuel desert monastery in Minya, Egypt, May 26, 2017.

Screen capture from a video released by an Islamic State group affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula and threatening Egypt's Christian Coptic community, February 20, 2017.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said he was "deeply saddened" by the attack and vowed to push ahead with Egypt's campaign against "terrorism".

Several of the attacks have targeted Christians and churches.

The attackers opened fire on the bus of pilgrims in Minya province after they had visited a monastery, the local bishop told AFP.

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The official Coptic Church spokesperson account posted images on Facebook showing at least two children/young teens killed in today's attack. The previous attack in May 2017 left almost 30 people dead.

The gunmen killed seven people and wounded 14, all of whom are in the Sheikh Fadel hospital in Beni Mazar around 200 kilometrers (120 miles) south of Cairo, said Bishop Makarios of Minya.

Those attacks left at least 100 people dead and led to tighter security around Christian places of worship and Church-linked facilities.

The Interior Ministry said police were pursuing the attackers, who fled the scene.

Copts, a Christian minority that make up 10 percent of Egypt's 96 million people, have in recent years been repeatedly targeted by the The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant jihadist group. 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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