EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Gunmen have shot dead a Christian man inside a barbershop in Egypt’s northern Sinai, security officials said on Sunday — the latest attack on Christians in the turbulent region contested by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group.
The late Saturday killing in the coastal city of el-Arish came one day after IS warned it would escalate attacks against Christians. IS claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday through a brief report on its Aamaq news agency.
The officials identified the victim as 50-year-old Nabil Saber Ayoub.
He is at least the seventh Christian in northern Sinai to be killed by suspected IS militants in recent months. The killings have forced hundreds of Christians to flee the region.
At least 75 others have since December been killed in IS attacks targeting three churches, one in Cairo and two to the north of the Egyptian capital.
IS is currently spearheading an insurgency in northern Sinai, where security forces have been battling militants for years.
The security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.