A team of gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo Friday, killing at least 28, including children, and wounding 22 other people, Egyptian officials confirmed.
As many as 10 attackers in 3 SUVs stormed the bus dressed in military uniforms and wearing masks, according to witnesses. The victims were on their way to visit a monastery to pray. Only three children survived the attack, the Copts United news portal reported.
Video circulating on social media after the attack showed about the bodies of about 10 men scattered in the sand on the side of the road with pools of blood around them. Children hysterically screaming could be heard in the background. Local media also reported that the attackers were recording video themselves.
Arab TV stations also showed images of the badly damaged bus along the roadside, many of its windows shattered and with numerous bullet holes. Footage of the bus’s interior showed blood stains on the seats and shattered glass.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Egypt’s Coptic Christians have become the preferred target of the Islamic State in the region. Egypt’s Copts, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, have repeatedly cried out for help from discrimination, as well as outright attacks, at the hands of the country’s majority Muslim population. Coptic Christians account for about 10 percent of Egypt’s 93 million people.