(Photo: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Several militants have attacked St. George Church in Hadaek Helwan, Cairo, throwing Molotov cocktails and opening fire on the building during a pro-Morsi march in the area.
Outer parts of the church were burned and the demonstrators attacked Christian Copts who had gathered to protect the church before security forces reached the scene resulting in several injuries.
"Extremists assaulted the church with Molotov cocktails, while security and military forces confronted them. Local Muslims formed committees to protect the church," H.G. Bishop Besenti of Helwan and Masara told Mideast Christian News.
He stressed that Egyptians would eliminate terrorism that targets the country and Copts as long as the Copts and Muslims are unified. He added that they did not know the extent of the damage to the church though noted the exterior doors were completely burned.
Witnesses said that a number of Christian Copts rallied to protect the church before the arrival of the security forces, while the extremists attacked them using sticks and bladed weapons. They added that a local preacher had tried to help the Christians calling on Muslims to form public committees to help protect the church, to which the locals quickly responded.
There are several groups surrounding the church to prevent any attempt to renew attacks.
It is worth mentioning that the Muslim Brotherhood have been carrying out intensified acts of violence against Christian Copts since the security forces broke up the sit-ins in Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares on Wednesday morning. The attacks include the burning and destruction of several churches in a number of provinces.