The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly November 2 attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians en route from Sohag to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor (Minya governorate), which left seven people dead. Funerals for the victims were held in the city of Minya on Saturday, November 3, amid tight security and high tensions. Members of the Coptic community continue to criticize the Egyptian government for failing to protect the country's Christian minority from such attacks, and related protests are possible in the coming days. Similar attacks targeting minority religious groups remain a threat in Egypt in the near-term.
The November 2 assault reportedly took place near the site of the 2017 Minya bus attack, in which masked gunmen killed at least 28 Coptic Christians and wounded 22 others heading from Maghagha (Minya governorate) to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor on May 26, 2017.
Security forces are currently conducting a significant counterterrorism operation in Egypt. The "Sinai 2018" mission aims to neutralize suspected militant and criminal cells in the Sinai Peninsula, the Nile Delta, and the Western Desert, as well as reinforce state control along the country's borders. The Egyptian police and the army have been placed on maximum alert in these regions for the duration of the operation. Official sources indicate that around 750 terrorists have been killed since the beginning of the year.
Individuals in the Minya area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the site of the attack, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, individuals throughout Egypt should report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly vulnerable to an attack (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).
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