At least seven people were killed and 12 others wounded in an attack on Coptic Christians near a monastery in the southern province of Minya in Egypt on Friday, an archbishop said.
The injured have been taken to nearby Maghagha public hospital in Minya, where dozens of Copts protested against the attack.
Eyewitnesses said a bus coming from Upper Egypt's Sohag Province managed to escape from the militants, who then attacked a minibus on its way back from St Samuel monastery, killing all men aboard, Xinhua reported.
Aida Shehata, a woman in her late 30s who was among the wounded in Maghagha hospital, said at least four masked men in two four-by-four vehicles attacked the minibus she was in after the bus fled the gunshots and ran away.
"The masked gunmen killed all men inside our minibus," she said.
Mina Bassem, a 9-year-old child among the passengers in the attacked minibus, was seen in a video narrating to a bishop in Minya some details of the tragedy.
"After we left St Samuel monastery and on our way back, I saw two vehicles with gunmen attacking a bus but when it fled they turned to our vehicle, killing the driver first," the little boy said, noting that his mother and grandmother were wounded.
Last year, about in the same place, at least 28 Copts were killed in a similar attack.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi later mourned the victims of the attack and vowed to continue the country's anti-terror war and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"I assert our determination to continue our efforts to combat dark terrorism and pursue the perpetrators," the Egyptian president wrote on his official Facebook page, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured.
Bishops from Minya declined to comment on the incident.
But Bishop of St Macarius Monastery told Xinhua that such "very painful and sorrowful" terrorist attacks will not affect the national unity.
"There is no religion that urges killing, so such attacks are committed by conspirators who plot to ruin the country. Egyptians, Copts and Muslims are and will always be united with love and solidarity," the bishop said.
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