An armed policeman secures the Coptic church that was bombed in Tanta, Egypt April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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In a brazen daytime attack, about a dozen Islamist militants robbed a local bank, lobbed grenades and traded gunfire with security forces guarding an unused church in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Monday, killing seven people, including three civilians, officials said. The militants drove into the city center of Al-Arish in the morning, then split into two groups. One group traded gunfire with the guards outside the Church of Saint George, security and military officials said. Services at the church were suspended months ago, following a wave of attacks on Christians in Sinai.The church attack was meant as a distraction from the bank, where the second group of militants first shot and killed the bank guards, then stormed in and emptied its safe. Egypt's state news agency MENA confirmed that three policemen were killed in an armed attack on the bank in Al-Arish.A bank employee appeared to have been kidnapped in Monday's attack, the officials said.On Thursday, six other policemen were killed in an attack by the militants in Al-Arish.
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