United Nations chief condemns attack on church near Cairo of Egypt

Elias Hubbard
December 31, 2017

Ten people have been killed in a shooting outside a Cairo Coptic church, Egypt's Health Ministry spokesman has said. It is now unknown whether he is one of the three casualties.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation, and say authorities have often failed to protect them from sectarian attacks. One attacker carrying explosives was reportedly shot and killed by security forces and another was arrested.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) has claimed its "soldiers" carried out the church attack.

The incident took place when an unidentified gunman opened fire at a Coptic church in the Helwan district, reported Al-Ahram. It said one had been killed, and the other fled but was later captured.

Earlier, security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said two police were killed.

Two police officers are thought to be among the dead.

Video footage has also emerged appearing to show one gunman lying dead at the scene and another alleged attacker fleeing in a red vehicle.

The sources reported that an armed gunman tried to raid the church and an exchange of fire occurred between him and a number of security guards. Two other bombs were defused near the church.

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

Security forces had already imposed barriers in the area surrounding the church, as a measure for heightening security procedures during the Christmas and holiday period.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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