Egypt mosque attack claims over 200 lives

Sulieman Awad receives medical treatment at the Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia Egypt a day after he was injured during an attack on a mosque. Militants attacked a crowded mosque during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula setting off explo

Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi called the attack "criminal" and said it "will not go unpunished".

"I am deeply saddened by the cowardly terrorist act that targeted a mosque, in northern Sinai, and resulting deaths and injuries, the Crown Prince said".

On Twitter, President Donald Trump also condemned the attack, calling it "horrible and cowardly".

Militants killed more than 230 people at a mosque in North Sinai on Friday, detonating a bomb and gunning down worshippers in the deadliest such attack in Egypt's modern history, state media and witnesses said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, in a statement following the attack in Egypt, called on the global community to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups.

Authorities replaced the military's chief of staff and nearly a dozen top police officials after at least 16 police conscripts and officers were killed in an ambush southwest of Cairo last month.

Egypt has launched a prolonged anti-terror crackdown few years ago, trying to unroot extremists based in North Sinai. The majority of those killed in the attack are civilians.

"Four groups of armed men attacked the worshippers inside the mosque after Friday noon prayers". Reportedly, the assailants also set the vehicles parked in the area on fire to block off access to the mosque.

Three police officers told the AP that militants attacked the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, which is located about 25 miles from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish. Sufis are considered by Islamic fundamentalists to be apostates and are frequently the target of Islamic militants. There are also some Egyptian soldiers among those killed.

North Sinai, which stretches from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, has always been a security headache for Egyptian security forces because of smuggling.

There have been a wave of attacks on the country's Coptic Christian minority, but attacks on mosques are rare in Egypt.

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