CAIRO: The death toll from an attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai on Friday rose to 235, state television reported. At least 130 were wounded, the report said.
A bomb explosion ripped through the Al Rawda mosque roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of Al Arish before gunmen opened fire on the worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers, officials said.
At least 130 others were injured in the attack that took place during the Friday prayers, according to the television.
Eyewitnesses reported ambulances ferrying casualties from the scene to nearby hospitals after the attack on Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al Abed, west of Arish city.
“They were shooting at people as they left the mosque,” a local resident whose relatives were at the scene told Reuters.
“They were shooting at the ambulances too.”
Al Azhar condemns deadly mosque attack
Al Azhar, Sunni Islam’s leading centre of learning, has condemned the attack on the mosque in North Sinai that left 200 dead.
“Shedding blood, desecrating houses of God and terrorizing worshippers are corrupt deeds, which must be struck hard and firmly,” head of Al Azhar Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb said in a statement.
“After targeting churches [by militants], the turn has come for mosques as though terrorism wants to unify Egyptians in death and devastation. But terrorism will be routed,” the top Muslim cleric added.
In recent months, Daesh terrorists have claimed a series of deadly attacks on churches of Egypt’s Christian minority.
Al Sissi holds emergency meeting
President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi convened an emergency security meeting soon after the attack, state television reported.
Egypt’s security forces are battling a stubborn Daesh insurgency in north Sinai, where militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since fighting there intensified over the last three years.
Militants have mostly targeted security forces in their attacks, but have also tried to expand beyond the peninsula by hitting Egyptian Christian churches and pilgrims.
Source Credit: Gulf News