On Sunday, November 4, the Egyptian military announced it killed 19 Islamic State (IS) militants during a firefight in an area west of Minya province. Security forces reportedly carried out the operation after intelligence services tracked the cell responsible for the November 2 attack on Coptic Christians in the area. Troops also seized weapons, ammunition, and IS propaganda material. Similar raids on suspected militant hideouts are to be anticipated near Minya province in the near term.
Gunmen killed seven Coptic Christians near the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province. The attack 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 province) 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, continue to 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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