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A view of the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, after a gun as well as also bombing attack, on November 24, 2017.
Militants killed more than 230 people at a mosque in North Sinai on Friday, detonating a bomb as well as also gunning down worshippers inside deadliest such attack of Egypt’s modern history, state media as well as also witnesses said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility, however since 2013 Egyptian security forces have battled a stubborn Islamic State affiliate inside mainly desert region, as well as also militants have killed hundreds of police as well as also soldiers.
State media showed images of bloodied victims as well as also bodies covered in blankets inside the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai.
Worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded, witnesses said. Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps as well as also opened fire coming from different directions as people tried to escape.
“Four groups of armed men attacked the worshippers inside the mosque after Friday noon prayers. Two groups were firing at ambulances to deter them, said Mohamed, a witness.
The public prosecutors’ office said in a statement 235 people had been killed as well as also 109 more wounded.
Hours after the attack, Egypt’s military launched air strikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources as well as also witnesses said.
“The armed forces as well as also the police will avenge our martyrs as well as also restore security as well as also stability with the utmost force,” Sisi said in a televised address.
“What is actually happening is actually an attempt to stop us coming from our efforts inside fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan of which aims to destroy what is actually left of our region.”
Egypt later said the item would certainly delay the opening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza after the attack due to security concerns. The crossing had been due to open for three days beginning on Saturday.
Striking at a mosque would certainly be a change in tactics for the Sinai militants, who have usually attacked troops as well as also police as well as also Christian churches.