RELIGION

Amnesty says Egypt has failed to protect Christians

Amnesty International says the Egyptian government has failed to protect hundreds of Coptic Christians who fled their homes in northern Sinai after a series of attacks by Islamic State militants.

The London-based rights group on Wednesday said the government's response fits with a pattern of failing to protect the embattled minority, adding that after other sectarian attacks the government sought reconciliation agreements between communities rather than prosecuting those responsible.

Some 150 Christian families have fled from the northern Sinai city of el-Arish in recent days. IS militants have vowed to continue targeting Christians.

Najia Bounaim, a Tunisia-based Amnesty representative, says "the Egyptian authorities have consistently failed to protect Coptic residents of North Sinai from a longstanding pattern of violent attacks," and "must not let them down further now."