At least 85 people were killed and 80 others injured when suspected militants launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque during Friday prayers in Egypt's restive North Sinai region, state media reported today.
At least 85 people were killed and 80 others injured when suspected militants launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque during Friday prayers in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region, state media reported today. The bomb, which was planted near al-Rowda mosque in Al- Arish city, went off during the Friday prayer, security sources said. The gunmen in in four off-road vehicles opened fire on the people who tried to exit the mosque after the explosion, MENA state news agency reported. About 50 ambulances rushed to the attack site to shift the injured to hospitals, it said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. The Egypt government has announced three days of mourning, even as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was set to hold an emergency meeting with officials to discuss the incident. Egypt’s North Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by military following massive protests against his rule.
Over 700 security personnel have been reported killed since then. The military has launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belonged to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.