At least 9 dead in church shooting near Cairo, Egypt

30 December, 2017, 02:16 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Egypt's Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country's 93 million people and are the largest religious minority in the region

A gunman opened fire on worshippers and Egyptian security forces stationed outside a Coptic church in a Cairo suburb on Friday and killed at least seven people before he was wounded and arrested, the Interior Ministry said.

The attack began when the gunman tried to break through the security cordon outside the Coptic Church of Mar Mina.

Authorities reported at least nine people dead, among them three police officers.

Egypt's Interior Ministry said one of the two attackers was killed.

A video circulated on social media after the attack apparently shows the gunman lying on the ground.

Pope Tawadros II says that since 2013 there have been 37 sectarian attacks on Christians in Egypt, almost one incident per month.

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Among those killed were eight Christians and a Muslim, officials said.

Since December 2016, Egypt's Copts have been targeted by the militants, who waged a series of attacks that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The demonstrators shouted anti-Christian slogans and called for the church's demolition, according to the local diocese.

The ISIS group's affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings over the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority. At least two people were reportedly killed in that attack. The second assailant is said to have fled the scene. On Palm Sunday in April, terrorists staged an explosion in the main church of the city of Tanta, where about 30 people died.

They announced plans to deploy rapid-reaction forces and electronic jamming equipment earlier this week to protect festivities around the New Year and Coptic Christmas on 7 January.



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