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How Bomb Blast & Firing In Egypt Mosque Killed 235, Injured 109

Egyptians gather outside the Al-Rowda mosque, roughly 40 km west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, following a gun and bombing attack, on November 24, 2017. A bomb explosion ripped through the mosque before gunmen opened fire on the worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers, killing 184 people and wounding 120 at the latest count.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Militants strike at Al-Rowda mosque in the restive North Sinai, during Friday prayers.

At least 235 people were killed on Friday when Islamist militants set off a bomb and opened fire on people attending prayers at a mosque in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai, state media said. Egypt has declared three days of mourning after the attack, state television has said.
No group claimed responsibility for the assault but it was the deadliest yet in the region where for three years Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State (IS) insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

Gory scene

State media showed images of bloodied victims and bodies covered in blankets inside the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of the city of El Arish. Another 109 people were wounded, the state news agency MENA reported.
“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.”
Arabiya news channel and some local sources said some of the worshippers were sufis, who hardliners such as IS regard as apostates because they revere saints and shrines, which for Islamists is tantamount to idolatry.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former armed forces commander who presents himself as a bulwark against Islamist militants in the region, convened an emergency security meeting soon after the attack, state television said.

Escalating attacks

Militants have mostly targeted security forces in their attacks since bloodshed in the Sinai worsened after 2013 when Mr. Sisi, then an armed forces commander, led the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
But jihadists have also targeted local Sinai tribes that are working with the armed forces, branding them traitors for cooperating with the army and police.
In July this year, at least 23 soldiers were killed when suicide car bombs hit two military checkpoints in the Sinai, an attack claimed by Islamic State.
Militants have tried to expand beyond the largely barren, desert Sinai Peninsula into Egypt” heavily populated mainland, hitting Coptic Christian churches and pilgrims. In May, gunmen attacked a Coptic group travelling to a monastery in southern Egypt, killing 29

Posted by on November 24, 2017.

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