Egyptian Christians are beginning to flee Sinai’s largest city, El-Arish, after yet another Copt was killed there, reports Watani.
Kamel Youssef, a 40 year old plumber, yesterday (23 Feb) became the latest victim, according to AP, which said militants stormed his home and shot him dead in front of his wife and children. Other sources say he was shot in the neck and the family’s home was set on fire.
This followed the killing of a father and son the day before, after an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group vowed to “eliminate” Egyptian Christians.
Six Copts have been killed in El-Arish in the past month and now a number of Coptic families are leaving, including the family of murdered schoolteacher Gamal Tawfiq, who was shot dead on his way to school on 16 Feb, and the family of the murdered father and son, who will stay in their hometown of Suez, where they had travelled to bury their dead.
Another seven families have reportedly travelled to Ismailiya, on the Suez Canal, where a church has provided them with accommodation. Rev. Ezzat told Watani that another five families are expected today (24 Feb) and that 20 families are expected in total.
A Cairo church is reportedly helping families to move their belongings.
Deaths at the hands of militant Islamists in the Sinai Peninsula are not new, especially since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, but the Egyptian security forces have been the target; now Coptic Christians are included.