Two policemen guarding a church in Egypt’s Minya province, south of Cairo, were killed by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday, security sources said.
According to eyewitnesses and security sources, the two policemen fell dead immediately after the masked men showered them with bullets.
The security sources added that the attackers have stolen all the weapons in the security men possession.
The attack took place one day before the Coptic Christmas, ahead of which security has been intensified.
Following the attack, dozens of security forces have cut the road in front of the church to protest the killing of their colleagues.
The victims include Eid Fahim, a 57-year-old Coptic, who has only two months left to finish his service, and Mohamed Yazid, a 40-year-old Muslim.
The officials from the Minya Forensic Department told Xinhua that over 32 bullets have penetrated their bodies.
Coptic Christians, coexisting peacefully with the majority Sunni Muslims in Egypt, make up about 10 per cent of the country’s total population of 85 million.
Following former President Mohamed Morsi’s removal by the military in July, 2013, a number of churches and public property were burned and destroyed.
Meanwhile, anti-government attacks killed hundreds of police and military men in the Sinai Peninsula and other parts across the country, including Cairo.
Since Morsi’s ouster, the crackdown on his loyalists also had left about 1,000 killed and thousands more arrested.