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9 dead after Gunmen open fire at Coptic Christian church

Egyptian officials inspect the site of Friday's attack.

Nine people were killed Friday after gunmen opened fire at a church near Cairo, officials said, the latest in a string of attacks on minority Coptic Christians in the country this year.

The Ministry of the Interior said on its Facebook page that the suspected attacker was 33-year-old Ibrahim Ismail Ismail Moustafa, and he was known to have participated in five different attacks between 2016 and 2017.
The ministry’s statement called the suspect “a well-known terrorist who participated before in attacks on police men and civilians.”
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack late Friday in a statement from the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq. The group and its affiliates have previously claimed responsibility in several attacks on the minority Christians in other parts of the country.
Witnesses told CNN that people were gunned down outside the church on their way out after a service. A CNN reporter at the scene saw bullet holes and broken glass in the church’s facade, and pools of blood on the ground.
The assault was carried out at the St. Mina Coptic Church in Helwan, a district on the southern outskirts of the Egyptian capital. A witness told CNN that he saw two attackers, but officials have given conflicting accounts of how many people were involved.
Father Aghathon Riad told CNN that about 10 minutes after Mass ended, the sound of shots rang out.
“I went downstairs to check what was happening,” he said. “I instructed the people in the ground floor to go upstairs. I took some of them to my office.”
One of the church’s servants, Riad said, managed to close the door of the church before the attacker entered. “This saved a lot of lives,” he said, though it didn’t stop the attacker from shooting at the church’s doors.
Police guards exchanged fire with the attackers, delaying their approach to the door, he said.
Bullets shattered glass, but no one inside the church was hurt, Riad said.
One suspected assailant was arrested with a machine gun, ammunition and a bomb that he had planned to use in the church, the Interior Ministry told state media.
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About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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