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Targeted by ISIS, Egyptian Christians Flee Violence
CAIRO — Dozens of Egyptian Christian families fled their homes in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, driven by a targeted campaign of Islamist violence
that has killed at least seven people in recent weeks.
"This the natural result of state indifference." Earlier on Friday, Mr. Antoune helped
the wife of Kamel Youssef, the plumber who had been shot dead in El Arish on Thursday.
Their flight had been prompted by the release of an Islamic State video on Sunday
that vowed to step up attacks on the embattled Christian minority in Sinai.
On Thursday, a plumber in the city was shot dead in front of his wife and children at their home, according to aid workers and Christian leaders.
Mr. Rafaei said his constituents were in a "state of war,"
but another lawmaker from the area, Rahmi Abd Rabbo, tried to play down the violence, claiming that no more than five families had fled from Sinai.
The Islamic State affiliate in Sinai is small compared with Iraq or Syria, but it has been increasingly active in recent weeks.
The killings represent an escalation of a campaign announced by the Islamic State in December, when
a suicide bomber struck a prominent Cairo church during Sunday Mass, killing about 30 people.