235 killed in Egypt mosque attack

Egyptians carry victims on stretchers following a gun and bombing attack on the Rawda mosque near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish.
Egyptians carry victims on stretchers following a gun and bombing attack on the Rawda mosque near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish. PHOTO: AFP

A terror attack on worshippers at a mosque in Egypt's troubled Sinai province during Friday prayers yesterday left at least 235 people dead and 125 wounded.

A bomb explosion ripped through the mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, about 201km north-east of Cairo, before gunmen opened fire on the worshippers, officials said. Photographs circulated by local news outlets purportedly showed the aftermath of the bombing: Dozens of bodies covered with blankets or bloodied sheets, laid in rows inside the mosque.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But Egypt's Sinai peninsula, a triangular piece of land bordering southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, has been a key battleground in the government's fight against an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria affiliate.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called an emergency meeting of his security committee and declared three days of mourning.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline '235 killed in Egypt mosque attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe