Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Police officers killed in shooting outside Egypt church

Police officers killed in shooting outside Egypt church

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

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.

Pope Tawadros II says that since 2013 there have been 37 sectarian attacks on Christians in Egypt, almost one incident per month.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Egypt's Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country's 93 million people, and are the largest religious minority in the region.

"People were terrified and wanted to check on their families in other buildings of the church", she told The Associated Press by phone.

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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.

The church attack is part of a "ongoing crisis" in Egypt, said Omar Ashour, a professor of security studies at the Doha Institute.

Since December 2016, Egypt's Copts have been targeted by the militants, who waged a series of attacks that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded.

The local IS affiliate has claimed responsibility for all the bombings targeting Christians. State television said the second attacker had been captured.

Security forces went on high alert for Christmas and New Year celebrations. The officials stated that a gunman fired upon people outside the church. A Muslim mob stabs 27-year old Coptic Christian Fam Khalaf to death in the southern City of Minya over a personal feud. No suspects have been named and the case remains unresolved.

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