US condemns attack on Christians outside Cairo church

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is condemning a drive-by shooting in Egypt, where masked gunmen sprayed a wedding party outside a Cairo church with automatic weapons fire, killing four people, including an 8-year-old girl and her 12-year-old sister.

The attack raised fears of an insurgency by extremists after the military's ouster of the president and a crackdown on Islamists.

Several thousand Christians gathered Monday for the funeral of the four members of a single family gunned down the previous evening. They wept and sang, "Help us, Jesus. Forgive us. Bless us. Our eyes are filled with tears."

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf noted that Egypt's Coptic Christian community "has been a target of violence recently, and that the freedom to practice one's faith is really a core, fundamental liberty."

In southern Egypt, there has been a wave of mob attacks against churches, which have been burned and looted.

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