The death toll in the latest terrorist atrocity targeting Egyptian Christians rose to 30 on Monday, after a victim succumbed to his wounds three days after Islamist gunmen opened fire on a group of travelers whom they had identified as Christians.
The number of dead, who included children, makes it one of the deadliest single attacks against members of Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic minority in decades. More than 20 people were injured in the eve-of-Ramadan attack, according to the Interior Ministry.
Gunmen in three pick-up trucks opened fire at a bus and other vehicles carrying Christians heading for a monastery in Minya province south of Cairo. Unconfirmed reports said the gunmen were dressed in military-type uniforms and that male victims were asked their religion before being gunned down.
“The victims, amongst which were also children, were killed after having refused to renounce their Christian faith,” Pope Francis told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Sunday, describing the attack as “another act of ferocious violence” against Egyptian Christians.