Egypt’s Christians bury their dead after ISIS attack

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Thousands of Christian mourners prepared on Saturday to bury six members of the same family who were killed while returning from a baptism at a Coptic monastery in Egypt’s Minya province.

Gunmen opened fire on Friday on two buses near the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Minya, 260 km (160 miles) up the River Nile from Cairo, killing seven people and wounding another 18, including children.

Mourners gather for the funeral of Coptic Christians who were killed in an attack, at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Mourners gather for the funeral of Coptic Christians who were killed in an attack, at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A mother of one of the victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians attends a funeral at Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Mourners gather at Prince Tadros Church for the funeral of Coptic Christians who were killed in an attack, in Minya, Egypt November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A relative of victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians attends a funeral, at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Relatives of victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians attend a funeral, at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The attack was claimed by Islamic State which, along with affiliated groups, has said it was responsible for several on Egypt’s Christian minority, including one that killed 28 people in almost the same spot in May 2017.

Although Egypt’s army and police launched a crackdown on the militant groups in February, some of the Christian mourners blamed security lapses for repeated attacks against them.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he mourned the victims as martyrs and vowed to push ahead with the campaign.

A mother of one of the victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians attends a funeral at Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
A mother of one of the victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians attends a funeral at Prince Tadros Church in Minya, Egypt, November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

“There is a mix of sadness and pain; sadness as these painful events are being repeated and pain because Copts are part of this homeland and part of its fabric,” Bishop Macarius, head of the Coptic diocese in Minya, told mourners at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, tears streaming down his face.

Crowds spilled over from the pews screaming, sobbing and praying over six white coffins and refusing an offer of condolences from security officials.

MINYA, Egypt (Reuters)

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