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Illinois Man Killed in Egypt Attack on Coptic Christians

Image: Illinois Man Killed in Egypt Attack on Coptic Christians

Relatives of Coptic Christians killed in bus attack surround their coffins. (Ezzat/Nur/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 May 2017 08:09 AM

An Illinois man was killed in Egypt along with 28 others Coptic Christians after their bus was attacked while traveling to a monastery Friday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Mohsen Morkous, 60, from the suburban Chicago town of Tinley Park, was with other family members when the bus attack, said his nephew Gerges Morkous. The bus was traveling through the Minya province to St. Samuel the Confessor monastery.

The BBC News reported that masked men boarded several vehicles carrying the Coptic Christians. The Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack that injured 25 others.

Gerges Morkous said Sunday at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Monee, Illinois that seven of Morkous' relatives, including two sons who lived in Egypt, were killed in the attack, reported the Tribune.

Mohsen Morkous' wife, Samia Ibrahim, was wounded in the attack and is being treated at an Egyptian hospital, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gerges Morkous said his uncle left the United States to visit his family members on May 1 and was expected to come back July 4.

"He just went there to see them and to see his grandchildren," said Morkous, per the Tribune. "They had no mercy. They shot the men, children, women, everybody."

Rev. Samuel Azmy, of St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, told the Sun-Times that the attackers attempted to force the Coptic Christians to convert.

"These men, ISIS, they went on the bus and pointed a gun to everyone on the bus and said 'Deny your faith and live,'" said Azmy. "'Either you convert to Islam or you will be killed.' I think they randomly started shooting. We are so proud of Mr. Morkous. In our faith, we consider them as martyrs in the church."

St. George Coptic Orthodox Church had a service for the Morkous family on Friday, said WLS-TV.

"Everything happens for a reason," Azmy told WLS-TV. "God has a plan for everyone. Although we are sad that they are no longer with us anymore but we trust they are in a better place."

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An Illinois man was killed in Egypt along with 28 others Coptic Christians after their bus was attacked while traveling to a monastery Friday morning.
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2017-09-30
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 08:09 AM
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