Sinai, Nov 24: An attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Northern Sinai province claimed 235 lives and left over 135 injured on Friday. Eyewitnesses claimed the attackers first bombed the mosque in the al-Rawda area near the provincial capital of El-Arish and then open fired at the people. The Government declared it will observe three days of mourning and called in an emergency meeting with security officials to monitor the situation.
Here are the latest updates regarding the incident:
- According to the local police, gunmen arrived in four off-road vehicles and bombed the mosque
- As it was Friday, worshipers at the mosque were offering their weekly prayers
- Reportedly, the assailants also set the vehicles parked in the area on fire to block off access to the mosque
- The attackers also opened fire upon the people as they tried exiting the mosque
- Soon after the incident was reported, 30 ambulances were deployed to the spot
- The attackers also attacked the ambulances, eyewitnesses claimed
- No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet
- It is believed the attackers targetted supporters of the military rulers
- President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi held emergency talks with security officials
- Among the attack victims were military conscripts as well
- The Egyptian President declared three days of mourning
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her condolences and called this a cowardly act
- US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences for the families of those killed in the ‘despicable attack’ and called it a ‘horrible and cowardly’ attack
- As per a BBC report, most of those in the mosque were followers of Sufism, who are considered by the IS as heretics
- President Sisi vowed to respond with “brute force” to attack on mosque
The attack on Friday comes days after police action killed three and nine militants belonging to the Lewaa al-Thawra group that assassinated an army general last year. Prior to that Egyptian soldiers were ambushed by militants in Sinai province.
Lewaa al-Thawra, and another group named Hasam, appeared after the military ousted in July 2013 President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, unleashing a deadly crackdown on his supporters.