Coptic Christians killed in Egypt bus attack

Latest attack against Christians comes one month after Pope Francis visit.

More than 20 people have been killed after gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt on the morning of 26 May, according to Egypt's health ministry.

The shooting took place in Minya province, 250km south of Cairo, when ten unknown gunmen ambushed the bus as it approached Anba Samuel, a Christian monastery near the city of Minya.

The terror attack comes one month after Pope Francis spent two days in Egypt to foster inter-faith dialogue with Muslim leaders and show solidarity with persecuted Christian communities.

The shooting is the latest assault against Egypt’s Coptic minority, with many of the attacks claimed by the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Around 45 people were killed in a pair of suicide bombings at Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday in April, and an ISIL suicide bomber killed 29 people in a Cairo church in December.

Egypt’s Christians number around 10 million people and constitute about 10 per cent of the country’s population.