On Friday, 7 Christians were killed and 19 wounded in the central province of Minya, in Egypt.
The Interior Ministry of Egypt declared that on Sunday, the security forces gunned down 19 militants who were responsible for the attack, in their hideout in Minya. The Ministry published photographs of the slain bodies of the militants, their weapons and also an image of the black banner of the Islamic State group - which claimed responsibility for the attack - unfurled on the ground.
A similar assault on Christian pilgrims, on their way to the monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, in May 2017,left 29 dead.
Christians have been constantly targeted by an IS affiliate, centered in the Sinai Peninsula because they support President Abdel - Fattah el - Sissi.
In 2013,el-Sissi overthrew the elected Islamist President and has since jailed thousands of dissenting Islamists and other activists.
Christians constitute 10%of Egypt 's population. They complain about the discriminatory attitude of the police who let the Muslim assailants go scot - free after breakout of sectarian violence.
The Christian activists acknowledge the modicum of protection they enjoy under El-Sissi but point out that it does not extend to the members of the ancient community in rural regions where the anti-Christian sentiments of the Muslims prevent them from construction or restoration of churches or any romantic relationships between Christians and Muslims.
Pope Francis decried the attack and said that he was praying for the " pilgrims killed for the sole fact of being Christians".
On Sunday, el-Sissi attempted to send a message of reconciliation to the youth, in a meeting at the Red Sea Resort City of Sharm el-Sheik. He said that Friday 's attack pained the Egyptians and added that his rule has been comparatively more tolerant of minorities.
He also alluded to a 2016 law, that in theory regulates the construction of churches and mosques without bias. "If followers of other religions lived in Egypt, we would have built places of worship for them too," said the Egyptian leader who has been in office since 2014.