In an attack on a bus near a Coptic monastery in northern Egypt, armed men killed at least seven Christians.

No group immediately took responsibility for the attack, but Islamist extremists targeted the Christians on the same street south of Cairo.

The victims had left shortly before the attack on Friday, the convent convent of St. Samuel in Minya.

"Terrorists have opened the fire from the monastery in a tourist bus from Sohag province," said Anba Makarious, archbishop of Minya.

Church spokesperson Bouls Halim said the number is likely to increase.

The bus drove as part of a convoy when it was attacked. Security forces surrounded the area and started a search for the perpetrators.

EgyptIranian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he was "deeply distressed" and vowed to push ahead with a campaign against militants.

"I reaffirm our determination to fight dark terrorism and persecute the perpetrators," he added.

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The shooting took place near the point where armed men killed 28 Christians who traveled to the same monastery last May. Isis later took the responsibility.

EgyptThe Coptic Christian minority, which is estimated to make up 10 percent of the population, has been a frequent target of attacks and persecution since the uprising that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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