gpolit.com
gpolit.com April 25, 2018


Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Helwan Church Attack

01 January 2018, 12:42 | Rudolph Thomas

Egyptian police cordoned off the crime scene as onlookers crowded around the church

Egypt church attack

State television reported the second attacker was captured after fleeing the scene. Authorities reported at least nine people dead, among them three police officers. A suicide vest or explosive belt was found on the dead attacker, indicating a far more devastating atrocity was planned.

Priest David, the head of the Mar Mina church, is greeted Friday by people outside the church in Cairo's Helwan area, where at least nine people were killed in a shootout.

Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt's large Christian minority in recent years, including two bombings on Palm Sunday in April and a blast at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral in December 2016 that killed 28 people.

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

Through its Amaq media agency, IS stated that soldiers of "the Caliphate" attacked Christian worshipers and said one attacker was killed, according to security consulting firm and NBC News partner Flashpoint Intelligence.

Cairo's state prosecutor said that an investigation had been launched into the incident.

Al-Sisi said that he "is following the consequences of the terror attack closely".

The jihadists are believed to have also carried out a massacre of Muslim worshippers in Sinai last month, killing more than 300 in an attack on a mosque associated with the mystical Sufi strand of Islam which IS views as heretical.

Ahead of the January 6 Christmas celebrations, Egypt's security apparatus has been on high alert, deploying security personnel at churches across the country. It also said there was a separate attack on a store in the same neighborhood of Helwan that killed two Copts.



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