About 50 killed in Egypt mosque attack
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 25, 2017,
Nov 25, 2017, 0:22
Arabiya news channel and some local sources said some of the worshippers were Sufis, whom groups such as Islamic State consider targets because they revere saints and shrines, which for Islamists is tantamount to idolatry. Militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since fighting there intensified over the last three years.
While the majority of the militant violence has been confined to the northern part of the Sinai, it has on occasion spilled over to Cairo and other major cities. The majority of those killed in the attack are civilians.
State condolences poured in for Egypt, including messages from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., Russia, France and Britain condemning the violence.
US President Donald Trump: "Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. India resolutely supports the fight against all forms of terrorism and stands with the people as well as Government of Egypt", PM Modi said. The attack took place as worshipers were listening to a sermon during prayers on the Islamic Sabbath. We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! The attackers also opened fire on ambulances, witnesses said.
Photos from inside the mosque showed what appeared to be bodies lined up in rows on the carpet. The state news agency MENA put the death toll at 235.
"Local people brought the wounded to hospital on their own cars and trucks", he said by telephone. But IS has targeted Sufis several times in the area in the past, notably beheading a leading Sufi religious figure, the blind sheikh Suleiman Abu Heraz, a year ago and posting photos of the killing online.
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President Abdel Fattah El Sisi convened an emergency security meeting soon after the attack, state television reported.
In a statement afterward, el-Sissi said the attack "will not go unpunished" and that Egypt will persevere with its war on terrorism.
The improvised explosive device, targeted worshippers gathering for Friday prayers inside a mosque that is believed to be affiliated to Sufi Muslims, who are considered "apostates" by members of the IS affiliated group, "Sinai Province".
During Palm Sunday of April 2017 ISIL-SP carried out two suicide attacks against the Christian minority of Egypt. St. George's Church in Tanta and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria were attacked, leaving 45 people dead and 126 people injured.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Egypt.