United Nations chief condemns attack on church near Cairo

30 December, 2017, 01:41 | Author: Kim Reid

Two unidentified gunmen killed nine people as they opened fire early Friday on a church south of Cairo, ahead of Coptic Christian celebrations next week, Egypt's state TV and health ministry said.

Samir Gerges, a witness, said people inside the church closed the gates when the shootout began but bullets from the gunfire still entered the building. The firing was retaliated by the security forces and the resulting exchange of fire caused at least five casualties.

The claim, which was carried by the group's Aamaq news agency, said Friday's attack was carried out by a "security detail" and that one of its men was "martyred" in it.

The security forces were able to capture one of the attackers after shooting him, managed to defuse an explosive belt that was fasten around the militant's chest, while the other one fled the scene, the ministry said.

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Coptic Christians in Egypt have been faced several attacks by extremist organisations.

A gunman on a motorcycle opens fire outside a church and at a store in a south Cairo suburb, killing at least eight Coptic Christians, and a policeman.

The White House says Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi after the attack by a gunman in Helwan killed at least eight members of Egypt's long-suffering minority community as well as a police officer.

The church was being guarded by police in the run-up to Orthodox Christmas celebrations next week. It also said there was a separate attack on a store in the same neighborhood of Helwan that killed two Copts.

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Egyptian security members and forensic police inspect the site of a gun attack outside a Cairo church.

State television reported that a second assailant who escaped had been arrested.

"The Secretary-General calls for those responsible for today's horrific attack to be swiftly brought to justice", the statement concluded. A Muslim mob stabs 27-year old Coptic Christian Fam Khalaf to death in the southern City of Minya over a personal feud.

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