A gunman opened fire on Mar Mina Church in Helwan, south of Cairo, on Friday, December 29, and was shot dead by policemen, police officials said.
Egypt’s Ministry of Health confirmed that ten people were killed in the attack. The church also issued a statement confirming one policeman and seven civilians dead.
The gunman had opened fire outside the church, wounding five security guards, and tried to storm the building when police shot him dead, the officials said.
An earlier report said that three policemen were killed at the scene and confirmed the arrest of a second identified gunman involved in the attack.
A picture of the alleged gunman’s corpse published on the official Al-Ahram newspaper’s website showed a bearded man wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street.
The ISIS group’s affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings over the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country’s 93 million people, and are the largest religious minority in the region.
The Egyptian government had declared a three-month state of emergency in April after two explosions at Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria claimed at least 44 lives. The blasts took place while the churches were full of people observing Palm Sunday, an especially holy day for the community. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for those attacks.
In May, the Islamic State had killed 29 Copts travelling to a monastery in central Egypt.