27 February 2017

As Christians flee in Sinai, a look at Egypt's sectarian problem

Several hundred Egyptian Christians have fled their homes in North Sinai over the last few days following a series of murders attributed to supporters of the so-called Islamic State.

Since the end of January at least seven people have been attacked and killed in the provincial capital, El Arish. Five were shot, one was beheaded, and one burnt to death.

Other Christians in the area say they have received threats by mobile phone and "death lists" have been circulated online. A video issued last week by a local IS affiliate vowed to step up attacks, describing the Christians as "infidels" empowering the West against Muslims.

The authorities have been battling against jihadists in northern Sinai for several years but with limited success. A statement from President Sisi's office on Thursday said he has now given orders to "completely eradicate" them. [al-bab.com] Read more