Police officers killed in shooting outside Egypt church

30 December, 2017, 02:11 | Author: Mable Gonzales

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

The gunman had tried to storm the building when police shot him dead, police officials said. State television said the second attacker had been captured.

A video circulated on social media after the attack appeared to show the dead gunman on the ground.

"The shooting began at 10:30 a.m. and carried on for more than 15 minutes. there was more than one attacker", Mohammed Hussein Abdelhadi, who lives close to the church, told Reuters.

Congealing blood could be seen at a guard post in front of the church.

Egypt's Ministry of Health confirmed that ten people were killed in the attack.

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Security forces went on high alert for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Sirens were heard in central Cairo immediately after the incident.

The UK Guardian cites Egyptian media sources that say at least one attacker was able to flee the scene, while another was overpowered and restrained by police and bystanders. It also said there was a separate attack on a store in the same neighborhood of Helwan that killed two Copts.

Coptic Christians in Egypt have been faced several attacks by extremist organisations. Two other bombs were defused near the church. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group. The officials stated that a gunman fired upon people outside the church.

A Muslim mob ransacks and torches seven Christian homes in Minya after rumors spread that a Christian man had an affair with a Muslim woman.

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