Videos show Egypt’s church gunman calmly walking away

Amr Nabil, Associated Press

Relatives of Coptic Christians grieve as they carry the coffin of Nermin Sadek, one of the victims of the militants attack on Mar Mina church, during their funeral service in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. At least 10 people, including eight Coptic Christians, were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire outside a church in a south Cairo suburb, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman said Friday.

CAIRO — Video clips circulating on social media on Saturday show the gunman who opened fire outside an Egyptian church and a nearby store owned by a Copt in an attack that killed at least nine people walking armed and unchallenged on a residential street for nearly 10 minutes.

The gunman, the videos show, stops only occasionally to shoot at his pursuers before he is himself shot.

The sight of the gunman’s calm just minutes after Friday’s attack contrasted with the self-congratulation pro-government media basked in on Saturday; their coverage focused on how police “successfully” prevented the Islamic State militant from breaking into the church and detonating an explosive device said to have been found on him.

The videos making the rounds Saturday drew a flood of critical comments about the police’s handling of the shooting, with many of them ridiculing the lavish praise heaped on police.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, said the gunman was wounded and arrested, but the Health Ministry said he was shot dead. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

It was not clear whether the gunman acted alone when he opened fire on the church, located in the Egyptian capital’s southern suburb of Helwan, and the nearby store.

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