A relative of one of the victims reacts after the church explosion in Tanta, Egypt, April 9 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said on Friday it was “in pain over violence and evil,” hours following an attack in Upper Egypt's Minya on a bus carrying Coptic Christians, which killed 26 people and injured others.
In an official statement, the church expressed its consolations to the families of the victims, adding that it was suffering "with the whole nation over the violence and evil that targets the heart of Egypt and our national unity, which is precious and which we strive to preserve and protect.”
“While we appreciate the fast response by officials in dealing with the event, we hope that necessary procedures are undertaken to avoid such attacks, which damage Egypt’s image and cause Egyptians a great deal of pain,” the statement added.
This is the first official response by the Coptic Orthodox Church after unknown assailants on three 4x4 vehicles attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians on the way to Saint Samuel Monastery in the east of Minya governorate.
Egypt’s interior ministry released details on the attack, saying in an official statement that the assailants attacked by "randomly shooting" the bus.
The ministry added that an official count of the final deaths and injuries was underway.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Egypt’s Christians, following the Palm Sunday Suicide Bombings last April and a St Peter Church bombing in Cairo last December.