Greece ‘appalled’ by attack on Coptic church in Egypt

TAGS: Terrorism, Diplomacy

The Greek Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned Friday’s attack by a gunman on a Coptic Christian church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo in Egypt that left 11 people dead.

In a post on its official Twitter account, the ministry said it is “appalled by yet another heinous attack on Coptic Christians. We extend our condolences and solidarity to families of the victims, the people of Egypt and its government.”

The Coptic Church said the gunman first shot at a Christian-owned shop 4 km (3 miles) away, killing two people, before proceeding to the Mar Mina church in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan, according to Reuters. The Interior Ministry said he opened fire at the entrance to the site and tried to throw an explosive device.

The gunman killed at least nine people, including a policeman, at the church, according to Interior Ministry and Coptic Church accounts quoted by Reuters. The Church said a young woman had died later from her wounds, bringing the civilian death toll at the church to eight.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, in a statement carried out by its Amaq news agency, though it provided no evidence for the claim.

Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt’s large Christian minority in recent years, including two bombings on Palm Sunday in April and a blast at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral in December 2016 that killed 28 people, added Reuters.