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Gunmen open fire at Coptic Christian church near Cairo

Posted at 5:34 AM, Dec 29, 2017

Nine people have been killed after gunmen opened fire at a Coptic Christian church near the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the Health Ministry told CNN.

One of the attackers was also killed by Egyptian security forces, said ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed.

The assault was carried out at the St. Mina Coptic church in Helwan, a district on the southern edge of the Egyptian capital. It was not immediately clear who the attackers were or how many were involved.

Among the nine killed were eight Christians and a police officer, who was Muslim.

Five others have been injured, including two in critical condition, according to the Health Ministry.

A security cordon has been put up at the scene and senior officials have arrived at the site. Images from the scene show blood stains on the outside of the building.

Coptic Christians have been regularly targeted in attacks in Egypt this year, several of them carried out by ISIS and its affiliates.

In May, gunmen killed at least 28 Coptic Christians aboard a bus traveling along a desert road on the way to a monastery.

On Palm Sunday, 49 people were killed in bombingsat two churches in Tanta and Alexandria. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, though it offered no proof of its connections to it.