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Attacker shot dead after stabbing guard at Egypt church

Attacks on Egypt's Christian community have increased since siding with the military in the 2013 coup that overthrew Mohammed Morsi
An Egyptian policeman stands in front of the Saint Peter and Paul Coptic Orthodox church in Cairo (AFP)

A knife-wielding attacker was shot dead in Egypt on Wednesday after stabbing a guard at a Coptic church, according to the state news agency.

The attack took place early in the morning at the Virgin Mary Church in Nozha, a suburb in the capital Cairo, according to the MENA news agency.

The attacker, whose identity or motive was not reported, stabbed a guard before other guards at the church shot and killed the attacker.

Egyptian authorities are investigating the attack, MENA reported.

Attacks on Egypt’s minority Coptic Christian community have increased in recent years. The rise in attacks have coincided with the community siding with the military after the July 2013 popularly backed military coup that unseated the country’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.

Following the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi, scores of churches were burned and looted, with the majority of attacks taking place in southern Egypt.

The Christian community in Egypt makes up around 10 percent of the country’s 91 million population.