Islamic State claims responsibility for Cairo attack

Police inspect the site of an attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo, Egypt December 29, 2017.

According to the Youm7 newspaper, the security forces are now trying to detain the second attacker, who left the scene riding a motorcycle.

The local affiliate of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack at a Cairo church that left at least nine people dead.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry on Friday announced that atleast 10 people have been killed in an attack on a Coptic church in a South Cairo suburb, reported Reuters.

Nine were killed in total, including one policeman at the church, the ministry said.

Security forces reportedly shot and killed one of the attackers who was carrying an undetonated explosive belt after an exchange of fire and another was arrested.

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

The church was being guarded by police in the run-up to Orthodox Christmas celebrations next week.

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Congealing blood could be seen at a guard post in front of the church.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of Christians in bombings and shootings in recent years.

A month later, IS gunmen shot dead about 30 Christians south of Cairo as they travelled to a monastery.

Eight Coptic Christians were among those killed.

Security forces have put checkpoints in place around the capital in response to the attacks.

During a Palm Sunday service in April more than 40 people were killed and many more injured by bomb attacks in two separate cities and in May almost 30 people were killed when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians to a monastery.

The army has poured in thousands of troops backed with armor and jets in a bid to crush the Sinai-based jihadists, but attacks have continued.

The attack killed an aide to the defense minister and a helicopter pilot, but both ministers returned to Cairo unscathed.

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