Gunman Kills 9 in Attack on Egypt Church

Katrina Barker
December 30, 2017

Two bombs were defused near the church.

At least nine people are dead after two gunmen attacked the Mari Mina Church in Egypt's capital on Friday, authorities said. The group's North Sinai affiliate had killed at least seven Coptic Christians in the restive peninsula in less than a month.

The gunman was also killed, along with at least one police officer, officials said. It was not clear how many assailants were involved.

On Friday night, bodies of the six victims from the bloody attack arrived at the district's archbishopric for the official funeral, covered with Egyptian flags and were received by their families, while a number of official figures were present.

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.

Friday's attack took place as Egyptian Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of the country's 93 million population, brace to celebrate their Christmas on 7 January.

The church was being guarded by police in the run-up to Orthodox Christmas celebrations next week.

A video circulated on social media after the attack shows the dead gunman on the ground. Authorities closed off the area around the church.

According to the Youm7 newspaper, the security forces are now trying to detain the second attacker, who left the scene riding a motorcycle. The Interior Ministry said he was wounded and arrested but made no mention of his death, which was reported by the Health Ministry.

The Interior Ministry said he opened fire at the entrance to the site and tried to throw an explosive device. It is centered in the turbulent northern part of Sinai but has also carried out attacks in the mainland. The demonstrators destroyed the church's contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

Menna Zaki is an Associated Press writer.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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