A civilians reacts to a terrorist attack targeted police personnel and Copts outside the Church of Martyr Mina in Helwan city, southern Cairo, on Friday, December 29, 2017- Egypt Today/ Hassan Mohamed
CAIRO – 29 December 2017: Egyptian security forces have arrested one of the two militants, who attempted an attack on a church in Helwan city, in southern Cairo on Friday, after the militants opened fire leaving ten civilians, including six Copts dead and injuring at least five others, according to Cairo Security Director General Khaled Abdel-Aal.
The militant who was arrested was carrying a gun and a bomb, while the second militant was fatally shot by security forces guarding the Church of Martyr Mina in Helwan.
A photo of the arrested militant who opened fire at police personnel and civilians outside the Church of Martyr Mina in Helwan district, southern Cairo
The two militants got off a motorbike and approached a security booth guarding the church, opening fire on security personnel, killing a policeman and injuring another officer, a security source told Egypt Today.
Ten ambulances headed to the scene of the accident, transferred the injured and the dead to Helwan General Hospital, Al-Nasr Hospital and the Military Production Hospital.
The attempt attack was thwarted amid high security measures implemented nationwide by the Ministry of Interior ahead of Christmas celebrations in Egypt.
All security service departments had made the necessary arrangements to make Christmas celebrations safe and joyous for all Egyptians, the source stated.
The ministry confirmed the importance of intensifying the presence of security forces around public areas and places of worship to be able to deal immediately and decisively with any attempt to disturb the holiday celebrations of Egypt's citizens.
According to the security plans, security forces will apply 800-meter “safe areas” around churches and provide explosive detection devices to counter any attempts to target places of worship, the source added.
Security forces will implement security procedures for all 2,326 churches in Egypt, including all 1,326 Orthodox churches, 1,100 Protestant churches and 200 Catholic churches.