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“With our souls, with our blood, we will defend the Cross”, the Coptic Christians chanted in the funeral.
Hundreds of Coptic Christians gathered Saturday at a church in the Egyptian city of Minya, for the funeral of seven people killed in a terrorist attack.
During the funeral, the families carried pictures of the victims, flowers and a large wooden cross, calling the authorities to act. “With our souls, with our blood, we will defend the cross”, they chanted.
“MINYA IS OFFERING MARTYRS EVERYDAY”
Bishop Maccarius of Minya thanked security staff, and promised the congregation they would “not forget the promises of officials, including the President of the republic, that the criminals will be punished”.
“No one accepts injustice, intimidation and blood shedding. I am grieving just like you all and they were our sons too, but I am also proud that Minya is offering more martyrs every year”, Maccarius said.
The Bishop also confirmed that the conditions of those injured in the terror attack were improving.
“WE PLAY NO ROLE IN HATE”
Additionally, Rad Noseer Mitri, priest of Mar Girgis Church, said: “We would like to tell the attackers that we still love them despite what happened. We have a question though,why are you doing this to us? We do not commit malice towards anyone”.
“We serve our church and nation in complete honesty. We play no role in terrorism or hate. We only play a role in serving our church and country like any other people all around the world”, he added.
PRESIDENT EL-SISI: “DETERMINATION TO COMBAT DARK TERRORISM”
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi mourned the victims of the terror attack, vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice. In a statement on his official Facebook page on Friday.
“I mourn with deep sorrow the martyrs who were killed today by treacherous hands which aim to undermine the solid fabric of the nation, and I wish speedy recovery for the injured”, El-Sisi said.
The president spoke about his “determination to continue our efforts to combat dark terrorism and apprehend the culprits”.
7 PEOPLE DIE IN THE ATTACK
Last Friday, unknown gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians who were heading to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, in Egypt's western desert, south of Cairo, killing seven people.
At least 20 of the passengers were injured and transferred to nearby hospitals, the governor of Minya, General Kassem Hassan said.
The victims included two women and five men. According to the state-run media outlet Ahram Online, six of the victims were from the same family.
“We consider them martyrs, and may the Lord have peace on them”, a spokesperson of the Coptic Church said.
Daesh (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement: “The ambush that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians, on the road to the Monastery of Saint Samuel in Minya, was carried out by Islamic state fighters”.
This is the second attack on pilgrims near St Samuel the Confessor monastery in two years. The previous attack in May 2017 left 28 people dead.
The gunmen suspected of the attack have been killed, according to the Interior Ministry, which did not explain how it determined who the perpetrators of Friday's attack were.
They were among 19 alleged militants who died during a shoot out with security officials in a desert hideout in Minya province, the Ministry said.