Gunman attacks Coptic church in Egypt

A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday and was shot dead by policemen, police officials said.

They said the exchange of fire also injured three other people.

Earlier reports by security sources and state media said at least two attackers were involved, and that one was shot dead and another fled the scene.

A video circulated on social media after the attack shows the dead gunman on the ground.

"The shooting began at 10:30 a.m. and carried on for more than 15 minutes. there was more than one attacker", Mohammed Hussein Abdelhadi, who lives close to the church, told Reuters. More than 100 Christians have been killed in Egypt in the past year - most attacks claimed by the local branch of the so-called Islamic State group.

Coptic churches in Egypt are often attacked.

Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians are frequently targeted in Egypt. Trump has promised to make protecting beleaguered Christian communities overseas a priority for his administration.

Just last week, hundreds of Muslim demonstrators stormed an unlicensed church south of Cairo wounding three people. The demonstrators destroyed the church's fittings and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them. Previous bombing attacks targeting Coptic churches in Egypt have killed dozens of people. The assault came a little more than a month after militants killed 311 worshippers inside a mosque in Sinai, the deadliest attack by militants on civilians in Egypt's modern history. The high death toll serves as a grim reminder of the difficulties of Egypt's struggle to restore security and stability after almost six years of turmoil following the 2011 uprising. The officials stated that a gunman fired upon people outside the church. No suspects have been named and the case remains unresolved.

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