Gunman kills 6 in attack on Egypt church, shot dead


Cairo, Dec 29: A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing six people before policemen shot him dead, state media and officials said.
One of the dead was a police officer, state television reported.
The gunman also wounded five security guards outside the church and then tried to storm the building when police shot him dead, police officials said.
The officials said they were searching for a possible second gunman who may have escaped.
Cellphone footage posted on social media appeared to show the bearded gunman wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street, barely conscious, as people restrained his arms and then handcuffed him.
The Islamic State 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.
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.
IS had claimed a suicide bombing of a Cairo church in December 2016 followed by bombings of two churches north of the capital in April.
A month later, IS gunmen shot dead about 30 Christians south of Cairo as they travelled to a monastery.
The jihadists are believed to have also carried out a massacre of Muslim worshippers in Sinai last month, killing more than 300 in an attack on a mosque associated with the mystical Sufi strand of Islam which IS views as heretical.