Published on : Saturday, December 30, 2017
The authorities of the Coptic Christian Church said that the gunman first shot at a Christian-owned shop 4km away, killing two people, before proceeding to the Mar Mina church in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan.
The Interior Ministry of Egypt said that the gunman opened the fire at the entrance to the site and tried to throw an explosive device inside the premises of the church.
According to Interior Ministry and Coptic Church accounts, 11 pilgrims, most of them are domestic and international, were killed in all, including a policeman at the church.
The health ministry of Cairo had said earlier that the five people were wounded, including two women who were in serious condition admitted to the local hospital for the treatment. The authorities of Coptic Church said that a young woman had died later from her wounds.
At least two attackers were involved in this attack, and that one was shot dead and another fled the scene.
The interior ministry of Cairo did not explain the reason for the different accounts. It also said there was a separate attack on a shop in the same neighbourhood of Helwan that killed two Copts.
The Internal Ministry of Cairo added that investigators had identified the gunman and that he had carried out several attacks since last year.
The religious Muslim leaders including the Grand Mufti of Egypt and the grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old centre of Islamic learning, condemned this heinous attack as the act of “brutal terrorism” and called on Egyptians to unite and fight against the terrorism.