Policeman shot dead, another injured in church attack

One policeman was reportedly shot dead and another injured during an armed assault targeting a church in the 6th of October City in the Giza governorate on Tuesday.

The state-owned Al-Ahram website mentioned that local residents had apprehended one of the armed assailants in his getaway car as he attempted to flee the site of the attack at the 10th District within the 6th of October City. A second assailant involved in this shooting is still on the loose, although police forces across the Giza governorate are reported to be attempting to apprehend him.

The Ministry of Interior has deployed policemen to provide security outside churches, especially after several of these houses of worship and other Christian interests were targeted in mob attacks last summer.

Churches, monasteries and Christian-owned properties were the target of tens of attacks as of August 14. These attacks took place immediately after police and army troops forcefully dispersed thousands of protesters and supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi camped-out at two protest sites in Cairo and Giza. Several hundred pro-Morsi protesters are reported to have died in these crackdowns.

The Coptic Church and Pope Tawadros II have openly sided with the military in its ouster of President Morsi on July 3. The church has since generally sided with the heavy-handed security policies of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the current interim government.

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