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At least nine dead as gunman opens fire during morning prayers in Cairo church

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At least nine people are dead after a gunman wearing an explosive vest opened fire at a church in Cairo, before being shot and killed by police.

Egypt’s interior ministry said two officers were killed in the attack, with a further five security guards also injured, according to an Al-Arabiya reporter.

Two attackers opened fire at the entrance to the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district, which was being guarded by police in the run-up to Orthodox Christmas celebrations next week, security sources said.

Police also diffused two bombs nearby.

One attacker was shot dead by security forces, the sources and the state-run news agency MENA reported. State television said the second had been captured.

The Health Ministry said that nine people had been killed on Friday in addition to the gunman, and five wounded, including two women in serious condition.

An image of the alleged gunman’s body was published on Al-Ahram newspaper’s website, showing a bearded man wearing what appears to be an ammunition vest.

Local media said the dead attacker had been wearing an explosive belt, and that two other bombs had been defused near the church.

Sirens were heard in central Cairo immediately after the incident.

Police have stepped up security measures around churches ahead of the Coptic Christmas celebrations on Jan. 7, deploying officers outside Christian places of worship and setting up metal detectors at some of the bigger churches.

The church is thought to be a place of worship for Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the largest religious minority in the country, accounting for around 10% of its 93 million inhabitants.

Earlier this year, ISIS claimed responsibility for two bomb blasts which killed dozens of churchgoers celebrating Palm Sunday in Egypt.

A bomb exploded inside a church in Tanta, before a suicide bomber was said to have targeted a Coptic church in the northern city of Alexandria.

At least 47 people are said to have died in the attacks.

And a bombing at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and wounded 49 in December 2016, many of them women and children, in another of the deadliest attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority in years.

Business

Nigerian Customs: Cars importation ban Remains.

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images

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has maintained that the ban on importation of used and new vehicles into the country through land borders remains. 

The comptroller-general of customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), said this on Monday, June 24, when he spoke at the official launch of a bilateral trade platform at Seme border.

a letter from our Editor-in-Chief Bayo Olupohunda According to Ali, the Nigeria Customs Service will not open land border for importation of used vehicles.

He, however, said the government was interested in the success of the connectivity platform that would facilitate border trade between Nigeria and Benin.

Ali urged that stakeholders should embrace the platform to enable the two countries to achieve seamless operations and trade facilitation as this would assist genuine traders.

“We are envisaging compliance, and we hope we get compliance; where individual decides not to comply, then the customs will ensure there is no illicit trafficking between the two countries,” 

The NCS boss noted that through the platform, false declaration of goods and some other illegal activities, experienced due to manual operation, would stop.

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Health & Lifestyle

Dozens get vaccine after Ebola outbreak in Uganda

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Report says, Ugandan health officials have reacted with the vaccination campaign for people who may have been exposed to Ebola.

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The outbreak, one of the worst in history, started in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year and spread to Uganda earlier this month.


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