At least 10 people have been killed in the attack, including two police officers who tried to stop the man. Islamist militants have increasingly targeted the Coptic Christian community and carrying attacks on churches.
Two gunmen on Friday opened fire outside a church on the outskirts of Cairo before attempting to storm the building, leaving five people dead including two police officers.
Egypt has witnessed a massive spike in attacks targeting the country’s Coptic Christian community and its places of worship over the past year.
- At least 10 people were killed in the attack, including one gunman, according to the health ministry
- No group has claimed responsibility, but the “Islamic State” militant group’s Egyptian network has targeted and urged attacks against Christians in the country
- Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 93 million people
- Declaration of war’
The US embassy in Cairo condemned the attack, saying Washington “stands steadfastly with the people of Egypt in the face of such cowardly attacks.”
Warning of growing violence against Christians in Egypt, Coptic Bishop Anba Damian told DW: “We are convinced that the extremists’ aggression and the intensity of their terrorism have increased in such an enormous way that it’s now tantamount to a declaration of war against Copts.”
Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch accused the Egyptian state of not doing enough to protect Coptic Christians, saying: “The deep-rooted sectarianism in many places in Egypt provides the climate where this hateful ideology can fester, but states of emergency have been the path to more abuses, not greater protection for Christian lives.”