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9 killed as gunman attacks church in Egypt

CAIRO, December 30, 2017

Nine people have been killed in two attacks on Coptic Christians in Helwan district, south of Egyptian capital Cairo, reported BBC, citing the country's interior ministry.
 
Six civilians and a policeman died when a gunman tried to storm a church but was intercepted and arrested, stated the report.
 
It said the man had previously attacked a Coptic-owned shop in the same area, killing two brothers.
 
According to the interior ministry statement, the first attack on Friday took place at a household appliances shop. Then the attacker headed to the Saint Mina Coptic church, where he attempted "to trespass the church's perimeter security"
 
The so-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed its "soldiers" carried out the church attack, reported BBC.
 
The interior ministry's account differs from an earlier version of events given by Egypt's health ministry.
 
The initial report said 12 were dead, and suggested there were two attackers. It said one had been killed, and the other fled but was later captured.
 
More than 100 Christians have been killed in Egypt in the past year, with most attacks claimed by the local branch of IS militants.
 
Security forces have reinforced checkpoints in place around the capital in response to the attacks, stated the report.
 
They announced plans earlier this week to protect festivities around the New Year and, on 7 January, Coptic Christmas. They include the deployment of rapid-reaction forces, combat troops and jamming equipment.
 



Tags: Egypt | Church | gunman |

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