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Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Armed Attack against Coptic Christians in Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptian Coptic Christians attend a Friday Mass at the Virgin Mary church on May 16, 2014 in Cairo’s Road al-Farag district (AFP Photo/VIRGINIE NGUYEN HOANG)

An official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation of the armed attack in Minya province in Egypt, killing and wounding dozens of innocent people, said the Saudi state-run news agency SPA.

Gunmen had attacked buses and a truck taking a group of Coptic Christians to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 26 people and wounding 25 others.

The official source reaffirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the Arab Republic of Egypt, underscoring the importance of joining international efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

The source concluded by offering the Kingdom’s condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded.

For his part, the grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilize the country.

“I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,” Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called a meeting of security officials, the state news agency said. The Health Ministry put the toll at 26 dead and 25 wounded.

About 70 have been killed since December in bomb attacks on churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta.

Those attacks were claimed by terror group ISIS, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack.