Iran Condemns Coptic Christian Bus Attack in Egypt


Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned a Friday terrorist attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Minya province that killed at least 28 people, including children.

Expressing condolences to the Egyptian government and nation and families of the victims, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi denounced the attack as a “blatant example of sponsored sectarianism.”

Pointing to a litany of terrorist attacks in Britain, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt just a few days after US president’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Qassemi said the recurrence of such assaults signifies a boost to a type of sponsored sectarianism whose other aspect has emerged as the crackdown on Saudi and Bahraini citizens and the bloody war on Yemen.

The spokesman also decried the recent “theatrical” gathering of Arab leaders and US president in Riyadh for a so-called fight against extremism, stressing that such shows have only resulted in stronger support for the “sources of generation of Wahhabism’s Takfiri ideologies and the financial and logistical sources of armed terrorism around the world.”

At least 28 Coptic Christians were killed and dozens more wounded by armed men who attacked them while they were travelling to a monastery in Egypt’s Minya province.

The Christians were headed on Friday to the Saint Samuel Monastery, located outside Minya city, about 220km south of the capital Cairo, when the masked attackers, who came in three pickup trucks, opened fire of them before fleeing the scene.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road.

Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up about 10 percent of the country’s population, has repeatedly been targeted by armed groups.

In April, at least 45 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in two separate suicide bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

The attacks were claimed by Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.