26 people have been killed along with 25 wounded by “gunmen” while riding a truck taking the group of Coptic Christians to a monastery in Egypt. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry stated that the unidentified killers were all riding four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Eyewitnesses saw masked men stopping the group and opened fire on the load leading to Saint Samuel the Confessor in the Minya province, home to a very sizeable Christian minority in the region.
Security forces are searching for the attacks, setting up dozens of road stops, checkpoints, and patrolling the desert roads.
This took place on the eve of Ramadan along with a warning issued by the American Embassy in Egypt that a terror attack was pending.
This video shows the aftermath:
As written for AOL News:
The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilize the country.
“I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,” Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a meeting of security officials, the state news agency said. The Health Ministry put the toll at 26 dead and 25 wounded.
Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million, have been the subject of a series of deadly attacks in recent months.
About 70 have been killed since December in bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta.