PM Barzani condemns Egypt attacks, urges serious stance against 'terror'

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Saturday strongly condemned a terrorist attack in Egypt which claimed the lives of more than two dozen people.

At least 28 people were killed and two dozen wounded in Egypt on Friday after a group of ten assailants wearing fatigues and masks opened fire on the passengers of a bus carrying Coptic Christians en route to a church in the city of Minya, the country’s Channel 1 state television reported citing health ministry statistics.

“I am strongly condemning the barbaric terrorist attack which targeted two buses in the city of Mina in Egypt killing nearly thirty Coptic Christians and many others wounded as they had made their way to a church," Barzani said.

ISIS-affiliated media reported the group claimed responsibility for the attack today.

Barzani in his condemnation message urged the international community to “stand against the terror question more seriously.”

Barzani expressed his sadness with the family of the victims and the Egyptian government. 

The Kurdish prime minister went on to add the world “should face terrorist groups with a stronger hand and widely confront their dark ideology."

Egyptian state media cited an army statement reporting that the country’s air force based on intelligence reports of the suspected masterminds in Friday’s attack had carried out at least six strikes directed at training camps in the eastern Libyan city of Derna.

During the start of the Christian holy week leading up to Easter on April 9, two bombs killed 22 people and injured 71 in front of Coptic churches in Egypt.

The Coptics follow orthodox Christian doctrine and mainly live in northern Africa and make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 93-million population.

At least 40 churches across Egypt have been targeted since August 2013, according to Human Rights Watch.

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