Helwan: Gunman launches deadly attack on Marmina Church

Egypt church attack

Two gunmen opened fire on worshipers in a Coptic church in the Helwan City district south of Cairo on Friday.

Previous bombing attacks targeting Coptic churches in Egypt have killed dozens of people.

State television reported the second attacker was captured after fleeing the scene.

Ismail is suspected to have links to several past attacks, including one by a group that opened fire on a police bus previous year in Cairo.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation, and say authorities have often failed to protect them from sectarian attacks.

It was not clear if the three reported dead included the attacker, or how many attackers were involved. At least two people were reportedly killed in that attack.

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At least five people were wounded, Megahed said. A suicide vest or explosive belt was found on the dead attacker, indicating a far more devastating atrocity was planned.

A boy holds yellow tape surrounding the site in front of Mar Mina church, in Helwan, Cairo on December 29, 2017.

A video circulated on social media after the attack shows the dead gunman on the ground. A man is seen later sneaking up to him from the back and snatching his weapon.

The attack came amid tightened security around churches and Christian facilities ahead of the Coptic Orthodox Christian celebrations of Christmas on January 7.

Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that Ismail, the suspected gunman, had been killed.

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