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ISIS claims responsibility for Helwan church attack near Cairo

The gunman had opened fire outside the church, wounding five security guards. (Supplied)

A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday and was shot dead by policemen, police officials said.

Egypt's Ministry of Health confirmed that ten people were killed in the attack. The church also issued a statement confirming one policeman and seven civilians dead.

ISIS group claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on Helwan church via online website, reported Al Arabiya.

The gunman had opened fire outside the church, wounding five security guards, and tried to storm the building when police shot him dead, the officials said.

Earlier, an Al Arabiya reporter on the ground said that three policemen were killed at the scene. She confirmed the arrest of a second identified gunman involved in the attack.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior revealed on Friday the identity of the terrorist who executed the attack of the church of Marminna in Helwan, south of Cairo.

His name is Ibrahim Ismail Ibrahim Mustafa. He was born on July 4, 1984 and worked as handicraftsman.

He lived in Mansheyet El Sadd are in Helwan, Cairo, and used a number of agricultural areas in Upper Egypt as hiding places.

The statement added that he is one of the most wanted terrorists who was a dangerous fugitive involved previously in Helwan police bus attack in 2016 as leader of the perpetrators -killing one of the officers and 7 policemen.

A picture of the alleged gunman's corpse published on the official Al-Ahram newspaper's website showed a bearded man wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street.

Egyptians have already taken to Twitter reacting to the incident.

The ISIS group's affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings over the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority.

Egypt's Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country's 93 million people, and are the largest religious minority in the region.

- With AFP

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Last Update: Saturday, 30 December 2017 KSA 04:03 - GMT 01:03
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