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Seven Christians Killed in Egypt in Assault Near Coptic Monastery
By Chris Baynes
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Gunmen have killed at least seven Christians in an attack on a bus near a Coptic monastery in northern Egypt,

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamist extremists have previously targeted the Christians on the same road south of Cairo.

The victims had left St Samuel the Confessor monastery in Minya shortly before the attack on Friday.

"Terrorists opened fire on a tour bus from Sohag province, heading back from the... monastery," said Anba Makarious, the Archbishop of Minya.

Church spokesman Bouls Halim said the figure was likely to rise.

The bus was travelling as part of a convoy when it came under attack. Security forces surrounded the area and launched a search for the perpetrators.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he was "deeply saddened" and vowed to push ahead with a campaign against militants.

"I assert our determination to fight dark terrorism and to pursue the perpetrators," he added.

The shooting took place close to the spot where gunmen killed 28 Christians who had been travelling to the same monastery in May last year. Isis later claimed responsibility.

Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, which makes up an estimated 10 percent of the population, have been a frequent target of attacks and persecution since the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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