Church shootout kills 1 militant in Egypt's Helwan

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The Health Ministry said nine people had been killed yesterday in addition to the gunman, and five were wounded, including two women in serious condition.

Further more, the German Embassy in Cairo condemned the attack as Ambassador Julius Georg Luy said nothing can justify attacks on peaceful worshipers from any religion, he expressed Germany's full support for Egyptian in its war against terrorism. "President Trump emphasized his commitment to strengthening efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism in all their forms".

Trump has promised to make protecting beleaguered Christian communities overseas a priority for his administration. More than 100 Christians have been killed in Egypt in the past year - most attacks claimed by the local branch of the so-called Islamic State group.

One attacker was shot dead by security forces, the sources and the state-run news agency Mena reported.

The gunman was also killed, along with at least one police officer, officials said.

Police protection for Coptic churches has increased ahead of Coptic Christmas, which is celebrated on January 7.

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

According to media reports, at least nine people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a Coptic Orthodox Church on Friday, in the southern Cairo neighborhood of Helwan. One gunman was shot dead as was a security officer, he said.

Hundreds of Egyptian Christians flee their homes in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, fearing attacks by Islamic State militants.

The Times notes another incident was reported on Friday involving a gun attack in Helwan at an appliance shop owned by a Copt. Two other bombs were defused near the church.

Cellphone footage posted on social media appeared to show the bearded gunman wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street, barely conscious, as people restrained his arms and then handcuffed him.

"The shooting began at 10:30 a.m. and carried on for more than 15 minutes. there was more than one attacker", Mohammed Hussein Abdelhadi, who lives close to the church, told Reuters.

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