Pope Francis leads the Christmas night Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
VATICAN CITY - 4 November 2018: Pope Francis said he was pained today over an attack, claimed by Islamic State, on Coptic Christians in Egypt which left seven dead.
“I express my pain after the terrorist attack which two days ago hit the Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt,” Francis said in Saint Peter’s.
“I pray for the victims, pilgrims killed just because they were Christian,” he added.
In Egypt, 19 suspected jihadists linked to the deadly attack were killed in a shootout with police, the interior ministry said today.
The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind Friday’s attack near the central city of Minya as the Copts returned from a visit to the desert cemetery of Saint Samuel that was also targeted in 2017.