Gunmen killed at least seven Christians who were returning from baptising a child at a Coptic monastery in Egypt on Friday (November 2), officials said – the most serious attack on the minority in more than a year.

Six of the dead were from the same family, and another 18 people, including children, were wounded, the Coptic Church’s spokesman said in a statement.

The attackers opened fire mid-afternoon on two buses near the Monastery of St Samuel the Confessor in Minya, 260 km (160 miles) up the River Nile from Cairo, the church spokesman said.

A witness at the monastery said the attackers had then fled and local residents set the car ablaze to express their anger, security personnel at the scene added.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the ambush in Minya province in central Egypt, the militant group’s Amaq news agency said, without providing evidence of its involvement.

Olaniyi Eniolawun.

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