Again, an attack on a Coptic church in Egypt has been perpetrated. Several people died. The perpetrator should have been arrested.
In two attacks on Christian facilities near Cairo, at least nine people have been shot and several others injured, according to official figures. An assassin had approached on a motorcycle of the Coptic church Mar Mina in Helwan about 25 kilometers south of Cairo and opened the fire on security forces, said the Egyptian Ministry of Interior in a statement on Friday. Seven people, including a policeman, were killed in the attack.
The suspected attacker had subsequently delivered a firefight with the security forces. He was injured and later arrested, the statement said. The man carried an automatic weapon and a bomb. It should therefore be a terror suspect known to the authorities.
Earlier Friday morning, the man had already shot at a shop in the city and killed two more people. According to the Coptic Orthodox Church, the store belonged to a Copt. The two killed men are Christians.
Initially, Egyptian security circles had said that two men had attacked the church in the suburbs of the capital Cairo. One of the attackers could have escaped, the other had been killed by security forces.
A video that shared local news sites on the Internet shows a man who is tied up and injured by several shots on a street while security forces are running around. It's supposed to show one of the alleged attackers. Eyewitness Samir Gerges said the people in the church closed the gates after the first shots were fired. Projectiles would still have hit the inside.
Rauth Atta, who was praying in the church during the deed, told the news agency AP, "People were scared and wanted to look after their families in other church buildings, we stayed inside for 30 minutes before we could get out." She had seen blood everywhere before the building.
The Christian minority accounts for about ten percent of the Egyptian population and has recently become the target of Islamist extremists. Since December 2016, more than 100 people have been killed and many injured in attacks on Copts.