Just one day before Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims, an attack targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians Leaving 24 dead and 25 severely injured, said officials.
The attack happened while the bus was traveling on the road to the St. Samuel Monastery in the Minya governorate, about 220 kilometers (140 miles) south of Cairo, the health ministry said.
The ministry said there were about ten attackers dressed in military uniforms, according to witnesses.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt has been fighting Islamic State group-linked militants who have waged an insurgency, mainly focused in the volatile north of the Sinai Peninsula but there have been also attacks on the mainland.
Christians make the largest minority in Egypt, and the most discriminated.
Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's mostly Muslim population of 83 million. They have long faced discrimination, but in recent years they have found themselves increasingly targeted by Islamist extremists.
Egypt has seen a wave of attacks on its Christians, including twin suicide bombings in April and another attack in December on a Cairo church that left over 75 people dead and scores wounded. The Islamic State group in Egypt claimed responsibility for them and vowed more attacks.
last month Pope Francis visited Egypt in part to show his support for the Christians of this Muslim-majority Arab nation who have been increasingly targeted by Islamic militants.
Following the pope’s visit, the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt vowed to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies as they are targets of their group’s militants.
The attack was the latest in a series of deadly assaults on Egypt’s embattled Christian minority.