Egyptian militants attack Coptic church

Pope Tawadros II has condemned the attack

A policeman has died in a gun attack on a Coptic church in Egypt.

The January 28 attack left two other officers injured as a gang of Islamic militants engaged in a gun battle with them as they protected the Church of the Virgin Mary in Giza (pictured). However, as the gunmen attempted to flee the scene, enraged locals blocked their car and managed to detain one of the assailants. A second man was detained by police later that same day.

Responding to the violence, Pope Tawadros II condemned the attack and sent a message of condolence to the family of the slain police officer.

Violence has continued in the country since the ousting from the presidency of Mohamed Morsi. While there have been indiscriminate attacks, notably the four bombings in Cairo on January 24, the Christian population has been singled out by militants for their perceived attachment to the current political administration. Just two days before the church shooting, Patriarch Tawadros paid an official visit to General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, currently the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces and the country’s deputy prime minister, who is tipped to become the next President of Egypt.

During the visit, the general praised the contribution of the Coptic Church against division and disharmony in the country in recent times.