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Christians of North Sinai fleeing the violence of the Islamic State

Filed under: Asia News |

CAIRO, Feb 27, 2017–Tens of Coptic families have fled from Al Arich, the capital of the governorate of North Sinai after a series of attacks last week that killed seven Christians .

Already in 2014 the Islamic state had proclaimed the area “Wilayat Sinai” (Province of Sinai), located to the east of Egypt, with an area of ​​about 61 thousand square kilometers. The area is also one in which the security forces are fighting terrorists Daesh at least five years.

The situation has become untenable after a few days some Copts were murdered. Kamel Raouf, 40, was killed by gunfire, while her daughter Justina was decapitated and their home was burned. Saad Hakim, 65, was shot to death; before he died, his son, 40, was burnt alive in front of his eyes. Early last week, a 67-year-old doctor, a 45-year-old businessman and a teacher of 55 years were killed with a firearm. In just 10 days there have been seven deaths.

A church source estimates that the number of Copts fled from Al-Arich up to 1,000 people, or approximately 40 families, a total of 1,700 citizens Copts registered in the capital. From his part, the governor of North Sinai has decided to consider the Copts who are absent from school or work as if they were on leave.

The 40 fugitive families were accepted in part on the premises of a Protestant church in a town which lies on the banks of the Suez Canal. Clothes, furniture and other donations are coming continuously in the small church of Ismailya. Some families have reached the relatives in the capital of Cairo or Suez canal.

The plight of the Copts leads to skepticism. Only recently they have seen unfolding before the eyes of security funerals of the famous sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, author of several fatwas (religious edicts) against jihadists political power, the army, culture and the arts, tourism and of course Copts. For now, the Copts of Sinai have only one choice: to be killed – or burned alive – or flee. It is their turn to be the prey of the Islamic State, after the security forces who have lost thousands of men in their efforts to counter Islamic terrorism in this area. (AsiaNews)

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