On 26 May 2017, masked gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying Copts from Maghagha in Egypt's Minya Governorate to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, killing at least 28 people[5] and injuring 22 others.[6][7]

2017 Minya bus attack
Part of the Insurgency in Egypt (2013–present)
2017 Minya bus attack is located in Egypt
Attack location
Attack location
2017 Minya bus attack (Egypt)
2017 Minya bus attack is located in Middle East
Attack location
Attack location
2017 Minya bus attack (Middle East)
LocationMinya, Egypt
Date26 May 2017 (2017-05-26)
TargetCoptic Christians
Perpetrator ISIS
Martyrs of the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor
Died26 May 2017
Minya, Egypt[2]
Venerated inCoptic Orthodox Church
Feast15 February (Amshir 8)[3]

Background edit

Copts have faced growing persecution and sectarian violence in Egypt since the early 2010s. In February 2017, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's Sinai chapter called for attacks on Christians, causing hundreds of Christians in the North Sinai region to flee their homes and avoid celebrating the Easter holiday.[8][9] On 9 April 2017, Palm Sunday, ISIS-SP bombed two Coptic churches—St. George's Church in the northern Egyptian city of Tanta on the Nile delta, and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the principal church in Alexandria—killing 45 people and injuring at least 125 others.[10] In response to the Palm Sunday attacks, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced a nationwide three-month-long state of emergency.[6]

Attack edit

The three-vehicle convoy was near the village of Adwa in northern Minya Governorate, near the border with Beni Suef Governorate, when it was ambushed on a road to the monastery by 8-10 Arab tribesmen with guns reportedly in military-style uniforms.[6][7] Attackers shot at a mini-bus containing children, killing at least six, including a four-year-old and two-year-old. Gunmen also entered a bus in the convoy, stealing phones and jewelry from female riders and killing the men, "leaving Islamist leaflets among the bodies."[7] Some men and boys were also removed from the bus and asked to recite the Shahada, and they were shot dead when they refused to do so.[11] A pickup truck in the convoy with workmen headed to the monastery was also targeted, and at least eight workers were killed.[7] After the attack, the gunmen drove off in three four-wheel drive vehicles.[6]

No group took immediate responsibility for the attack, although analysts suspected that ISIS was responsible.[12] Amaq News Agency attributed it to "(a) group that belongs to Islamic State".[13] ISIS later released an official statement claiming credit.[14] Others have argued, however, that al-Qaeda loyalist Hesham Ashmawy and his al-Mourabitoun network were responsible for the Minya attack.[15]

Response edit

After the attack, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi organized an emergency meeting with top security officials.[12] Security forces in Minya sent out patrols and set up checkpoints along roads in the area in an attempt to find the attackers.[12] In the evening of the day of the attacks, the president appeared on television to address the nation and announced he had ordered retaliatory attacks against terrorist training camps in neighboring Libya.[16] State media said fighter jets had conducted six strikes against sites in the vicinity of the port city of Derna where the militants responsible for the attack are believed to have trained.[17]

A second wave of airstrikes was launched the following day, 27 May.[18] On 29 May 2017, a spokesperson for the Libyan National Army (LNA) confirmed that Egypt and the LNA had cooperated in targeting locations in Derna as well as Jufra with 15 airstrikes launched.[19]

Reactions edit

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin stated in a telegram to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that Pope Francis was "deeply saddened to learn of the barbaric attack" and that he expressed his "heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this violent outrage." He also stated that "Pope Francis assures all who have been injured of his ardent prayers, and he pledges his continued intercession for peace and reconciliation throughout the nation."[20]

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences and said Russia remains a reliable ally of Egypt in the fight against terrorism.[citation needed]

U.S. President Donald Trump blamed the attack on "evil organizations of terror" and "thuggish ideology", calling it a "merciless slaughter" that "grieves our hearts and tears at our souls."[21]

In Israel, Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality building displayed red, white, black and golden hues on Saturday night as it was lit up in solidarity with Egypt.[22]

In Dubai, the UAE commemorated the attacks by lighting up the Burj Khalifa in Egyptian flag colors and the Eagle of Saladin.[23]

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower's lights were turned off on 27 May as a sign of solidarity, at the request of Mayor Anne Hidalgo.[24]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, reaffirms its strong condemnation of any act contrary to respect for life, peaceful coexistence and human rights and reiterates its commitment and support to the Arab Republic of Egypt in the fight against intolerance and terrorism in all its forms. The Government of the Republic of Guatemala expresses its solidarity with the People and Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, especially the families of the victims and expresses its hope for the prompt recovery of the wounded.[25]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "ISIS claims responsibility for killing 29 Coptic Christians in Egypt". Nine.com.au. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  2. ^ ليبيا.. اعترافات مثيرة للشاهد على ذبح الأقباط. العربية. 7 October 2017.
  3. ^ لماذا اعتمد المجمع المقدس 15 فبراير عيدًا لشهداء الكنيسة؟. مصراوي.كوم.
  4. ^ اليوم.. نقل رفات شهداء دير الأنبا صموئيل إلى مزار خاص داخل كنيسة الجرنوس. مصراوي.كوم.
  5. ^ "Gunmen kill at least 28 Coptic Christians in central Egypt". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Egypt Coptic Christians killed in bus attack". BBC. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d "Dozens dead as gunmen attack bus of Coptic Christians in Egypt". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  8. ^ Walsh, Declan; Nour Youssef (24 February 2017). "Targeted by ISIS, Egyptian Christians Flee Violence". New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Gunmen kill 26 people in latest attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  10. ^ Joe Sterling; Sarah Sirgany; Ian Lee (10 April 2017). "Egypt Cabinet OKs state of emergency after Palm Sunday church bombings". CNN. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  11. ^ Shea, Nina (June 2017). "Do Copts have a future in Egypt". Foreign Affairs.
  12. ^ a b c "Coptic Christians killed in Minya bus attack". Al Jazeera. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Islamic State claims responsibility for Coptic church attacks in Egypt". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  14. ^ Adam. "IS Issues Formal Communique for Killing Coptic Christians in Minya - Statements - Jihadist News - Articles". ent.siteintelgroup.com. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  15. ^ أخطر إرهابي مصري.. 17 قضية تنتظر عشماوي [Most dangerous Egyptian terrorist.. 17 cases await Ashmawy]. Sky News Arabia. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Egypt hits 'jihadist camps' after attack on Coptic Christians". BBC News. 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  17. ^ Michaelson, Ruth (26 May 2017). "Gunmen kill 26 people in latest attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  18. ^ Stephen, Chris (27 May 2017). "Egypt hits Libyan terror camps again after attack kills 29 Copts". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  19. ^ "New Egyptian Derna airstrikes as Cairo warns of Libyan Islamist threat". Libya Herald. 29 May 2017.
  20. ^ "Holy Father's condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack in Minya, Egypt, 27.05.2017". Holy See Press Office. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Egypt strikes militant bases after 28 Coptic Christians killed in ambush". USA Today. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Tel Aviv City Hall lights up in solidarity with Egypt". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  23. ^ "The Burj Khalifa lights up for Egypt after terrible attack to "spread message of peace to the world"". What's On Dubai. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Paris Turns Off Eiffel Tower Lights In Solidarity With Egypt". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Ataque contra un autobús en la provincia de Minya, Egipto". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala. Retrieved 28 May 2017.

28°44′22″N 30°37′14″E / 28.7395°N 30.6205°E / 28.7395; 30.6205