Egyptian Gunmen Kill 2 Outside Church in Cairo Suburb

Cario riots
Riot police officers advance toward protesters at Al-Azhar University during clashes in Cairo Sunday. In a suburb of the city, gunmen killed two people outside a Coptic Christian church. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Gunmen on a motorcycle fired on Egyptian wedding guests outside a Coptic Christian church in a Cairo suburb on Sunday night, killing two people and wounding seven, security sources said.

The assailants shot randomly at the people as they left the church, the sources said. It was not immediately clear if the two people killed were Christians, they said.

A Coptic priest at the wedding told Reuters he was inside the church when gunfire broke out. Thomas Daoud Ibrahim said he rushed outside to find a dead man, a dead woman and "many injured."

Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people, and have generally coexisted peacefully with majority Sunni Muslims for centuries, despite bouts of sectarian tension.

But the army's overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 has been followed by the worst attacks on churches and Christian properties in years.

The immediate trigger for the attacks was a bloody security crackdown in Cairo on Aug. 14, when police dispersed two Islamist protest camps set up to demand the reinstatement of Morsi, and killed hundreds of his supporters.


Reporting By Maggie Fick; Editing by Alistair Lyon

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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