No fewer than 235 worshipers were killed during an ambush on a mosque in the North Sinai province of Egypt on Friday.
Reports say it is Egypt’s deadliest attack in recent times.
And the attack has been pinned to the Islamic States though the terrorist group has yet to claim responsibility.
A bomb explosion first went off inside the Rawda mosque where mostly Sufis worship 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish. Then gunmen opened fire on the panicked faithful, including consctpts, whose vehicles the attackers already set aflame to block any escape.
Apart from the over a hundred killed, at least 109 others were wounded in the attack, according to state media which described the assault as unprecedented in the four-year insurgency by Islamist extremist groups.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared three days of mourning as he met his security chiefs to follow developments.
In a Twitter post, UK’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson described the attack as “barbaric “. Likewise his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian who sent his condolences to the families of victims of the attack he called “despicable “.
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Ahmed Abul Gheit, head of the Cairo-based Arab League, also condemned the “terrifying crime which again shows that Islam is innocent of those who follow extremist terrorist ideology,” his spokesman said in a statement.
Egypt’s franchise of the IS has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and lately targeted Sufi Muslims and Christians on the peninsula.
According AFP quoting a tribal leader and head of a Bedouin militia that fights, the mosque is known as a place of gathering for Sufis.
As a Salafist, the Islamic State group believes Sufis are heretics for seeking the intercession of saints.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram too has been attacking other Muslims in their bid to establish an Islamic caliphate in the northeast.
In its latest attack on a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa, Boko Haram, through a suicide bomber, killed at least 50 people Tuesday during a morning prayer.