At least 10 dead in Egypt after gunmen opened fire at Coptic church, officials say
The attack struck a Coptic Christian church on the outskirts of Cairo.
BySALMA SHUKRALLAH and MORGAN WINSOR
December 30, 2017, 3:55 PM
• 4 min read
Cairo, EGYPT -- At least 10 people were killed Friday after unidentified gunmen opened fire at a church south of Cairo, according to Egypt's health ministry.
The attack struck a Coptic Christian church in Helwan, a city east of the Nile River on the southern outskirts of central Cairo. Another five people were wounded in the shooting, the health ministry said.
A policeman was among the dead, according to Egypt's interior ministry.
One of the attackers was killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces deployed to the scene. The other attacker managed to escape, according to Egyptian security officials.
A security guard at the church immediately responded to the shooting by firing back at the gunmen, the officials said.
According to The Associated Press, a local affiliate of ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly shooting.
It was unclear whether the death toll released by the health ministry includes the attacker and the policeman.
Egypt's Coptic minority has repeatedly been targeted in recent deadly attacks, including ones carried out by ISIS.
In April, ISIS claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings during church services in the northern cities of Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday. The double bombings, which killed at least 45 people, led Egypt's president to declare a three-month state of emergency.