Gunman opens fire on Cairo church, kills 9
Published: 02:17 PM, 30 December 2017
At least nine people, including eight Coptic Christians have been killed in two attacks on Coptic Christians in Helwan district, south of Cairokilled on late Friday.
Egypt`s interior ministry said that a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire outside a church in a Cairo suburb that killed at least six civilians and a policeman.
Previously the man had attacked a Coptic-owned shop in the same area, killing two brothers. The gunman was intercepted and arrested.
The local associate of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement they said that it was carried out by one of their `soldier` and claimed him martyred due to the strike.
The attack was commenced when the gunman tried to break through the security cordon outside the Coptic Church of Mar Mina.
Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said that due to the attck at least five people were wounded including one police officer.
President Donald Trump spoke with Egypt`s president after the attack, condemning it and restating that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism.
The Interior Ministry identified the assailant as Ibrahim Ismail Mostafa, who was involved in several previous militant attacks.
Islamic militants have battled security forces for years in Egypt`s Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency which is now led by IS. The attack place is situated in the northern part of Sinai but the attack has also carried in the mainland.
The militants are targeting mainly security personnel and Egypt`s Coptic Christian minority.
A witness, Samir Gerges said on Friday’s church attack that people were inside the church but when the shooting began, some bullets were penetrated the building.
Raouth Atta, another witness of the church’s attack said that he was praying inside the church when the violence broke out.
Just last week, hundreds of Muslim strikers stormed an unlicensed church south of Cairo, wounding three people. According to the local diocese, the strikers shouted anti-Christian slogans and called for the church`s demolition.