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Egypt’s Christians Flee Sinai After Killings

Hundreds of Coptic Christians have fled the Sinai Peninsula to Ismailia city.Hundreds of Coptic Christians have fled the Sinai Peninsula to Ismailia city.

Hundreds of members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority have fled the Sinai Peninsula to Ismailia city, 115 km northeast of the capital Cairo, following a series of killings by a local armed group.

The assailants have shot and killed at least seven Christians in separate attacks in Sinai’s El Arish city in February, Aljazeera reported.

At least 90 families have reached the Ismailia Governorate, according to an official of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Many rights activists say the displacement is a clear sign the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has failed to provide a minimum of security for Sinai’s Coptic Christians.

The government only agreed to put up the fleeing Christians in government housing in Ismailia after pressure on social media, which they underline as another disturbing sign.

Largely desert, the Sinai Peninsula has seen repeated attacks from armed groups, mainly targeting security forces, since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

The flight from Sinai has intensified after the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group released a video last week threatening to carry out attacks against Christians in Egypt.

Egypt’s IS affiliate—based in north Sinai—carried out a suicide bombing against a Cairo church in December.

 

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