A vet believed to be a Coptic Christian was shot dead in Egypt’s increasingly lawless North Sinai province, according to reports.

The state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the man was Coptic and came under heavy fire from unknown assailants as he left his clinic in a suburb of North Sinai’s capital, El-Arish, on 12 February.

Another newspaper, Daily News Egypt, quoted a journalist in North Sinai on condition of anonymity as saying that the victim “was killed by the militants of the IS-affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’, as they have recently targeted the city’s Coptic residents. His name is Bahgat William Zakhar.”

Residents of North Sinai’s cities are increasingly frequently subjected to kidnappings and killings by jihadists affiliated to the Sinai Province group, which pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014. Two Coptic priests in El-Arish have been murdered in recent years.