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30 December 2017, 01:40 | Myrtle Vega
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A gunman opened fire outside a Coptic church south of Cairo, killing at least nine people and wounding at least five others before being shot dead by police, The Guardian reported on Friday.The incident took place at the Mar Mina church in the Helwan district on the capital's southern outskirts, according to Egypt's health ministry.
One attacker was killed and another has fled the scene on a motorbike, the statement added.
Coptic churches in Egypt are often attacked.
Including the dead attacker, at least three people were involved in the terrorist squad.
Security forces reportedly shot and killed one of the attackers who was carrying an undetonated explosive belt after an exchange of fire and another was arrested.
The ISIS group's affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings over the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority. It also said there was a separate attack on a store in the same suburb of Helwan that killed two Copts.
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A video circulating on social media after Friday's attack apparently showed the gunman lying on the ground with his face covered in blood.
Police later cordoned off the crime scene as onlookers crowded around the church, while a forensics team combed the area.
Egypt's Interior Ministry referred to only one, but the Coptic Orthodox church mentioned "gunmen". It showcased a deadly December attack on the church adjacent to Cairo's Saint Mark's Cathedral.
Egypt's state-run MENA news agency quoted an official anonymously as informing that the attack in Helwan was perpetrated by two attackers.
Pope Tawadros II says that since 2013 there have been 37 sectarian attacks on Christians in Egypt, almost one incident per month. Attacks pick up in the aftermath of Egypt's Arab Spring uprising that begins weeks later, then even more so after the army overthrows an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.
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