Gunmen kill nine in church near Cairo

Hannah Rogers
December 30, 2017

Authorities in Egypt reported at least nine people dead after two gunmen attacked a church south of the capital on Friday.

Two gunmen opened fired outside the Marmina Coptic Orthodox church in Helwan, a neighborhood in south Cairo, Khaled Megahed told reporters.

The Health Ministry said nine people had been killed yesterday in addition to the gunman, and five were wounded, including two women in serious condition.

One of the assailants fled the attack site and is being pursued by the security forces.

Cellphone footage posted on social media appeared to show the bearded gunman wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street, barely conscious, as people restrained his arms and then handcuffed him. Authorities closed off the area around the church. "We stayed inside for 30 minutes before we were able to get out".

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Olender said a second auto was damaged in the incident, so the teens each face two counts of vehicular vandalism. "He's gone. Four boys, three of them 14 years old and one 13, were taken into custody not far from the overpass.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of Christians in bombings and shootings in recent years.

Eight Coptic Christians were among those killed. The claim was carried by the group's Aamaq news agency. At least two people were reportedly killed in that attack. At least 43 people are killed and scores of worshippers injured in the Palm Sunday attack, which narrowly missed a ceremony presided over by Pope Tawadros II in Alexandria's St. Mark's cathedral. The demonstrators shouted anti-Christian slogans and called for the church's demolition, according to the local diocese. The demonstrators destroyed the church's contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

The local IS affiliate has claimed responsibility for all the bombings targeting Christians.

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

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