CAIRO — Egypt's interim prime minister Monday condemned an attack outside a Cairo Coptic church that killed three people, including an 8-year-old girl, pledging police would do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a statement that the attack on Sunday night was a "callous and criminal act."
He says such attacks will "not succeed in sowing divisions between the nation's Muslims and Christians."
The attack took place in the Waraa neighborhood of the Egyptian capital, when masked gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a wedding party outside a Coptic church, killing a man, a woman, and the child.
A Coptic priest at the wedding told Reuters he was inside the church when gunfire broke out. Thomas Daoud Ibrahim said he rushed outside to find a dead man, a dead woman, and "many injured."
Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people, and have generally coexisted peacefully with majority Sunni Muslims for centuries, despite bouts of sectarian tension.
But the army's overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 has been followed by the worst attacks on churches and Christian properties in years.
The immediate trigger for the attacks was a bloody security crackdown in Cairo on Aug. 14, when police dispersed two Islamist protest camps set up to demand the reinstatement of Morsi, and killed hundreds of his supporters.
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