International Christian Concern is reporting an upswing in abductions of Christians in Egypt.

ICC reports that at least eight Christians from Minya province, south of Cairo in the Upper Egypt region, have been abducted since 25 January by suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood and that these are “just a handful among the hundreds of similar cases in the last few years,” often involving exorbitant ransom demands.

“It is clear that Muslim radicals, most likely Muslim Brotherhood members, are targeting Christians in Egypt, specifically in the Minya province,” said ICC president Jeff King.

MCN reports that two of the eight were found on 5 February, tied up by the side of the road.

“Kidnapping Copts for ransom and the seizing their money and property has increased sharply during the past period, especially in Upper Egypt, without any decisive intervention of the security forces to stop these practices against Copts,” reports MCN.