IS claims deadly shooting outside Egypt church

IS claims deadly shooting outside Egypt church
The Islamic State group has claimed its "soldiers" carried out a deadly shooting outside an Egypt church south of Cairo on Friday.
2 min read
29 December, 2017
Another attack on Egypt's Christian minority has been claimed by IS [Getty]

The Islamic State group has claimed its "soldiers" carried out the attack on a Coptic church south of Egypt's capital on Friday.

The gunman opened fire outside the Saint Mina Coptic church in the district of Helwan, in the latest attack targeting the majority Muslim country's embattled Christian minority.

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer.

But the interior ministry said the assailant, a wanted jihadist implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested.

The man had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at the church, the ministry said.

It added that he had killed two people when he opened fire on a store before heading to the church where he shot dead seven people including the officer.

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.

In a statement released via its propaganda agency Amaq, IS said a group of its "soldiers" had carried out the attack, killing 10 "crusaders" and police officers.

It added that one of its fighters had been killed.

An IS affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings during the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority.

Friday's attack came ahead of Christmas for the Copts, who celebrate it on January 7.