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Twelve people have been killed in a gun attack outside a Coptic Christian church near the Egyptian capital, Cairo. She confirmed the arrest of a second identified gunman involved in the attack.

Security forces shot dead one of the assailants in an exchange of fire outside the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district while the other assailant has been captured, state TV and state news agency MENA said.

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman who was shot dead had killed nine people and wounded others, including a police officer.

A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday and was shot dead by policemen, police officials said.

A video circulated on social media after the attack apparently shows the dead gunman on the ground.

Five terrorists, including one with attached explosives to the body, attacked a church near Cairo on Friday morning, according to the newspaper Al-Watan.

Congealing blood could be seen at a guard post in front of the church.

During a Palm Sunday service in April more than 40 people were killed and many more injured by bomb attacks in two separate cities and in May almost 30 people were killed when gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians to a monastery.

Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians are frequently targeted in Egypt.

Coptic Christians in Egypt have been under attack by extremist organisations in various incidents. The church also issued a statement confirming one policeman and seven civilians dead.

The group has been waging a deadly insurgency based in the Sinai peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

The army has poured in thousands of troops backed with armor and jets in a bid to crush the Sinai-based jihadists, but attacks have continued. Isis also claimed responsibility last week for firing an anti-tank missile at a helicopter at an airport in northern Sinai as the defence and interior ministers were visiting.