The Financial Express

Egypt mosque attack: Death toll rises to 235

| Updated: November 26, 2017 12:59:51

Egypt mosque attack: Death toll rises to 235

Death toll in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday rose to at least 235 till the writing of this report.

At least 109 people were also injured in the attack.

The attack took place in the al-Rawda village, west of el-Arish, shortly after Friday prayers, reports MENA state news agency.

Local media reports that attackers planted explosives and then opened fire on worshippers while the sermon was under way.

It also reported the closure of the Arish-Rafah road, further east.

The attack comes a day before the Rafah border crossing, the main gateway for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip to the outside world, was due to open for a three-day period.

The border opened briefly earlier this week.

Reuters, quoting eye witnesses, said worshippers were finishing Friday prayers at the mosque when a bomb exploded.

Around 40 gunmen set up positions outside the mosque with jeeps and opened fire 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.

Hours after the attack, Egypt’s military launched air strikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources and witnesses said.

“The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” Sisi said in a televised address.

“What is happening is an attempt to stop us from our efforts in the fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan that aims to destroy what is left of our region.”

Striking at a mosque would be a change in tactics for the Sinai militants, who have usually attacked troops and police and Christian churches.

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