Dozens of families have left the peninsula following a chain of attacks in which seven members of the minority community were killed by Daesh militants.

Orthodox Copts comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million people.
Orthodox Copts comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million people.

Christian families and students fled Egypt's North Sinai province in droves on Friday after Daesh killed the seventh member of their community in just three weeks.

Officials of Ismailia's Evangelical Church in Suez Canal city said that 100 families, out of around 160 in North Sinai, were fleeing with their belongings.

More than 200 students studying in Arish, the province's capital, have also left.

On Thursday, Daesh militants killed a member of the minority in Arish and set his house on fire.

Seven Christians have been killed in Arish between January 30 and February 24.

Daesh, which is waging an insurgency there, claimed responsibility for the killings, five of which were shootings.

One man was beheaded and another set on fire.

We've become scared of our shadows. We're scared someone would be walking behind us and shoot us. Christians are being targeted in an ugly way - a victim

Arish residents said that Daesh circulated death lists online and on the streets, warning Christians to leave or die.

"My father is the second name on their list; anyone Christian they put on the list," said Munir Adel, a vegetable seller who fled on Friday.

Adel's parents did not leave Arish because of their old age.

"They could be killed at any moment."

"No security in Sinai"

Daesh released a video on February 19, threatening Egyptian Christians and vowing to escalate a campaign against them.

The threat comes after Daesh bombed a chapel adjoining Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic papacy, in December, killing 28 people.

Major General Mostafa al-Razaz, North Sinai's deputy police chief, said security forces were capable of handling the "crisis" and that they added more patrols and checkpoints.

But Sinai's Christians said security forces are unable to protect them and are overwhelmed by the militants.

"The government does nothing. There is no security in Sinai, they can't even protect themselves," said Adel, adding, "It was an officer who told us to leave."

Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million people, making it the largest Christian community in the Middle East region.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies