Egypt mosque attack leaves at least 235 dead in Sinai Peninsula
At least 235 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and bombed a mosque in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula on Friday. Government officials said 109 more had been injured in the attack — among the deadliest in Egypt’s history.
The local Islamic State affiliate — Sinai Province — appeared to be responsible for the gruesome incident, in the first attack on a large mosque since the militants began their terror campaign in 2013, the Associated Press reported.
Police said militants in four off-road vehicles carried out the attack during prayers at the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, located 25 miles from the regional capital of el-Arish. The militants stopped people from escaping by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks blocking the roads, police said.
Police sources told the Associated Press that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers in the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Al Rawdah. NBC News could not immediately independently verify that account.
Two eyewitnesses and a security source told Reuters that the suspected militants targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers. Citing official sources, the state-run MENA news agency reported that the mosque is largely attended by Sufi Muslims — a form of Islam considered heretical by some conservatives and extremists like the Islamic State group.
President Donald Trump is denouncing what he’s calling the “Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers (sic) in Egypt.”
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