Gunmen kill 12 in Cairo church

Two policemen were killed after two militants opened fire in an attempt to storm a church in Helwan city, southern Cairo on Friday, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior said in media remarks.

Egypt's state-run MENA news agency quoted an official anonymously as informing that the attack in Helwan was perpetrated by two attackers. The Interior Ministry did not explain the reason for the different accounts.

The church attack is part of a "ongoing crisis" in Egypt, said Omar Ashour, a professor of security studies at the Doha Institute.

No group has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack.

United Kingdom woman jailed in Egypt over painkillers
Plummer insisted that the tablets were for her Egyptian partner, who required the painkillers for his chronic back pain. Laura, from Hull, was held on October 9 as she flew into Red Sea resort Hurghada for a trip to see Omar.

The last reported attack on Egypt's historic minority took place on December 11 after a bomb went off at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral, leaving at least 22 people dead and 35 wounded.

State television reported that a second assailant who escaped had been arrested.

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

Police have stepped up security measures around churches ahead of Coptic Christmas celebrations on January 7, deploying officers outside Christian places of worship and setting up metal detectors at some of the bigger churches. As security forces have become more hard to target, it has increasingly attacked civilians instead.The latest attack comes a day after six Egyptian soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in the Sinai.

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