May 29, 2017 / 2:51 PM / 6 months ago

Egypt transfers Minya security chief after attack on Christians

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s Interior Minister on Monday ordered the transfer of Minya’s security chief after militants shot dead 29 Christians in the southern province, the first disciplinary action taken in response to the incident.

Masked gunmen on Friday boarded vehicles taking Coptic Christians to a monastery and opened fire at close range.

Islamic State said it carried out the attack, the latest directed at the increasingly embattled Christian minority.

Police Major General Faisal Doweidar will be transferred from his position as Minya security chief to a new post as deputy chief of security at the ministry, effective Wednesday, three security sources said.

Many Christians feel the state either does not take their plight seriously enough or cannot protect them against determined fanatics.

At a service to mourn the dead on Sunday, Salama, the uncle of one of the victims, said: “This is the result of only one thing: negligence, negligence from the government for not punishing these people.”

The government is fighting insurgents affiliated with Islamic State who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.

Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Ahmed Mohamed Hassan; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Giles Elgood and Richard Lough

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