Egypt Independent

Govt count: 258 Coptic Christian families fled Arish for 13 governorates



The Social Solidarity Directorate in North Sinai said Sunday that 258 Coptic Christian families have left al-Arish city for 13 different governorates.
 
Head of the directorate, Monier Abul-Khair, said in a statement that these displaced families have been relocated to Cairo, Ismailia, Port Said, Dakahlia, Assiut, Minya, Qaliubiya, Sohag, Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Sharqiya, and Gharbiya.
 
Coptic Christians started to flee Arish late last month after Islamic State-affiliated militants threatened to kill them if they stayed in the city.
 
Seven Copts were killed by extremists in Arish in less than three weeks, including two people who were burned to death. The incidents sparked panic among Coptic families residing in the city and prompted them to move to other provinces, mainly Ismailia.
 
The killing came days after Egypt's IS affiliate, which is based in the Sinai Peninsula, vowed to step up attacks against the embattled Christian minority.
 
The IS group published a video threatening Egyptian Christians and showing the last statement of a man it said was responsible for the deadly bombing of a Coptic cathedral in Cairo in December.
 
The masked man in battle-dress, whom the group identified as Abu Abdallah al-Masri, is seen encouraging militants all over the world to not give up and promising Islamists jailed in Egypt they will be freed soon, when the group "liberates" Cairo.