In Egypt, the unknown fired at the Church: many dead

Representational image

Representational image

Bystanders and residents, not police, may have prevented a bigger bloodbath during Friday's terror attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt, eyewitnesses say. The attack at the Coptic church in Egypt left 10 people dead on Friday.

The attack came amid tightened security around churches and Christian facilities ahead of the Coptic Orthodox Christian celebrations of Christmas on January 7. "He carried out several terrorist attacks which resulted in the martyrdom of a number of policemen and civilians", said the Ministry.

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.

Trump "condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism", the White House says in a statement.

Police have deployed 230,000 personnel nationwide to secure churches, parks and vital public institutions during Christmas celebrations. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has personally chaired meetings with his top security chiefs in recent days to discuss security during New Year's Eve and the Orthodox Christmas. One gunman was shot dead as was a security officer, he said.

Security sources said on Saturday that the captured injured attacker of Helwan's Church of Great Martyr Mina underwent successful surgery to remove bullets from his foot.

Egypt's state-run MENA news agency, citing an unnamed Interior Ministry official, said the other assailant fled the scene and was being pursued.

According to Ministry of Interior's statement, attackers opened fire at a household appliances shop, then headed to the church, where they attempted to trespass the church's perimeter security. It is reported that the attackers were two.

Another bystander told the AP he was about to smash the shooter in the head with a large rock, but police arrived and shot and wounded the gunman in an attempt to take him alive. They will also be seeking to determine whether the same weapon used by Mostafa to attack Mar Mina was used in other terrorist attacks. Authorities have closed off the area around the church.

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