Police officers killed in shooting outside Egypt church

Cellphone footage posted on social media appeared to show gunman barely conscious as people restrained his arms and then handcuffed him

Authorities in Egypt reported at least nine people dead after two gunmen attacked a church south of the capital on Friday. One gunman was shot and killed by police but the other fled the scene.

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 attack took place when two armed men attacked the church in Helwan early Friday, targeting dozens of Christian worshippers who were attending a religious service, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.

Five people were wounded, including another police officer, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said. Two other bombs were defused near the church.

Among those killed were eight Christians and a Muslim, officials said.

Egypt's Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded.

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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 Secretary-General calls for those responsible for today's horrific attack to be swiftly brought to justice", the statement concluded.

No group immediately claims responsibility for the attack, the fourth to target Christians since December of the previous year, but it bears the hallmarks of the Islamic State group's local affiliate.

Police later cordoned off the crime scene as onlookers crowded around the church, while a forensics team combed the area.

Also, the Italian Embassy in Egypt strongly condemned Friday's heinous attack in Helwan. "There are two issues one is the political crisis in Egypt which unfolded after 2013".

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