Egyptian security members and forensic police inspect the site of a gun attack outside a church south of Cairo. AFP / Samer ABDALLAH
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A gunman on a motorcycle opened fire Friday outside a church in a Cairo suburb and at a nearby store, sparking a shootout that killed at least nine people, including eight Coptic Christians, Egyptian authorities said. It was the latest attack targeting the country's embattled Christian minority. The gunman was also killed, along with at least one police officer, officials said.The attack came amid tightened security around churches and Christian facilities ahead of the Coptic Orthodox Christian celebrations of Christmas on Jan. 7 .Authorities have closed off the area around the church.It came a little more than a month after militants killed 311 worshippers inside a mosque in Sinai, the deadliest attack by militants on civilians in Egypt's modern history.Samir Gerges, a witness to Friday's church attack, said people inside the church closed the gates when the shooting began but that some bullets penetrated the building.Just last week, hundreds of Muslim demonstrators stormed an unlicensed church south of Cairo, wounding three people.
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