The Coptic Christian community in Egypt is crying out in grief and anger following the funerals of seven believers who were killed by Islamic militants near a monastery in Minya.
The attack on Friday, which left at least another 19 people injured, prompted a swift response from Egyptian police, who say that they killed 19 militants in a shoot-out into the desert area west of Minya province.
AFP reported that the first victim, an Anglican, was buried on Friday, while the other six Coptic Christians were carried out in white coffins on Saturday by hundreds of mourners. The crowds reportedly shouted “with our souls, with our blood, we will defend the cross!”
Bishop Makarios of Minya said following the funerals that “we will not forget the promises of officials, including the president of the republic, that the criminals will be punished.”
The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for Friday’s massacre, which comes a year after 28 believers were killed travelling to the same monastery in May 2017.
Egypt’s interior ministry said that police pursued the militants and discovered a tent where they had been hiding. Officers found guns, riffles, and IS propaganda.
Copts, who make up only around 10 percent of the local population, have called for better protection as radical Islamic danger remains high in Egypt.