Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt on Friday, killing seven in the latest assault on the religious minority claimed by the Islamic State group. The attackers opened fire on the bus of pilgrims in Minya province after they had visited a monastery, the local bishop told AFP. Bishop Makarios of Minya said the wounded had been taken to a hospital in Beni Mazar, around 200km south of Cairo. The attack took place on the road back from the Saint Samuel monastery, he added, as the bus was heading to the city of Sohag. A security source confirmed that seven people were killed in the attack and seven wounded. The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a message via its propaganda agency Amaq. Copts hit by attacks ISIS killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April 2017 and a month later shot dead 28 Christians in Minya province. Egypt's government imposed a three-month countrywide state of emergency after the April 2017 church bombings. In December 2017 an ISIS gunman killed nine people in an attack on a church in a south Cairo suburb. A year earlier, an ISIS suicide bomber killed almost 30 worshippers at a church in Cairo located in the Saint Mark's Cathedral complex, the seat of the Coptic papacy. The Egyptian army launched a major offensive in February 2018 against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, where the group has waged a deadly insurgency since the fall of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Alongside attacks against Copts, the jihadists have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in Egypt in recent years and were allegedly behind a November 2017 attack against a mosque in north Sinai that killed more than 300 people. * Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.