Gunman kills 9 in Egypt church attack claimed by IS

Cheryl Sanders
December 31, 2017

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took the responsibility for the attack.

Gunmen opened fire on a Coptic church in a Cairo suburb on Friday, killing at least nine people.

The gunman was also killed, along with at least one police officer, officials said.

The World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit has condemned the twin attacks on Coptic Christians in the Helwan area south of Cairo in which 12 people were killed.

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his proximity to the Coptic community of Egypt, struck on Friday December, 29 by two attacks on a church and a shop and prayed that God may "convert the hearts" of the violent. It is reported that the attackers were two.

Police have stepped up security measures around churches ahead of Coptic Christmas celebrations on January 7, deploying officers outside Christian places of worship and setting up metal detectors at some of the bigger churches.

At an hour that Sama'an Farag usually spends leisurely sipping his morning tea, the doorman at the Mar Mina Coptic Church near Cairo found himself springing up to close the doors upon hearing gunshots and the sound of ricocheting bullets.

President Donald Trump is condemning an attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt Friday. The police had said it shot dead the terrorist before he could break into the church.

A month later, IS gunmen shot dead about 30 Christians south of Cairo as they travelled to a monastery.

Egypt's Coptic Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic terrorists in several attacks since a year ago that have killed over 100 people and wounded many others. They say the exchange of fire also injured three other people.

IS has been waging a deadly insurgency based in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

They have increasingly targeted civilians as attacks on the security forces have become more hard.

Last week, IS claimed responsibility for firing an anti-tank missile at a helicopter in a North Sinai airport as the defence and interior ministers were visiting. He promised to continue "cleansing the country of terrorism and extremism".

Other reports by iNewsToday