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Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Helwan Church Attack

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Helwan Church Attack

Previous bombing attacks targeting Coptic churches in Egypt have killed dozens of people.

The second assailtant was captured soon after, Reuters reported.

Local media cited the Interior Ministry as saying two policemen had been killed in the attack on the Mar Mina church.

Ismail is suspected to have links to several past attacks, including one by a group that opened fire on a police bus previous year in Cairo.

Police inspect the site of an attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo, Egypt December 29, 2017.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered tighter security measures on Friday for vital facilities across the country, Anadolu has reported.

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

The Times notes another incident was reported on Friday involving a gun attack in Helwan at an appliance shop owned by a Copt.

The Interior Ministry identified the attacker as Ibrahim Isma'il Isma'il Mustafa, 33, who according to the ministry has been involved in several prior terrorist attacks. Authorities closed off the area around the church. An estimated 10-15 per cent of the population in Egypt are Christians.

The jihadists are believed to have also carried out a massacre of Muslim worshippers in Sinai last month, killing more than 300 in an attack on a mosque associated with the mystical Sufi strand of Islam which IS views as heretical. At least eight policemen were killed in the May 2016 attack.

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