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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Two Christians killed in New Year attack on shop in Egypt

The shooting came just three days after a gunman killed nine people in an attack on a church south of the capital

An Egyptian soldier stands guard outside the Saint Joseph Catholic Church ahead of New Years eve mass in Cairo on December 31, 2017. Khaled Desouki / AFP
An Egyptian soldier stands guard outside the Saint Joseph Catholic Church ahead of New Years eve mass in Cairo on December 31, 2017. Khaled Desouki / AFP

A gunman killed two Copts celebrating the New Year in an Egyptian shop that sells alcohol early on Monday, judicial and security sources said, the latest deadly violence against the Christian minority.

The shooting came just three days after a gunman, identified as a wanted extremist, killed nine people in an attack on a church south of the capital.

An assailant rode up in the back of a motorcycle taxi and opened fire on the store in Cairo's twin city Giza at around 1.30am local time, when the streets were still bustling with New Year revellers, the sources said.

The store's Coptic owner survived but two of his friends who were celebrating with him were killed.

Police are still investigating the motive of the attack, the sources said.

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Most stores that sell alcohol in Egypt are run by Copts, who have come under attack in the past by extremists who believe such shops should be banned.

On January 2 last year, a man slit the throat of a Coptic liquor store owner in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria.

The assailant was sentenced to death after telling the court that he would kill all alcohol sellers if he could.

Egypt's Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of the country's 93 million people, and are the largest religious minority in the region.

Dozens of Christians have been killed in church bombings and shootings claimed by the ISIL's Egypt affiliate over the past year.

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