At least 184 people were killed and another 125 injured in an attack on a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai region on Friday, Egyptian state media reported, making it one of the deadliest attacks ever carried out against civilians in the province.
After at least two explosions, gunmen who were waiting outside the mosque opened fire at worshipers as they fled Friday prayers, state-owned Ahram Online said.
The attack targeted Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed, in the west of Arish province, MENA said.
The blasts from improvised explosive devices caused considerable damage to the mosque, Ahram Online said.
Speaking to state-run Masriya TV station, Egyptian health ministry spokesman Khalid Mujahid described the incident as a “terrorist attack.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is meeting with a security committee to discuss repercussions of the attack, Masriya TV reported. The presidency has declared three days of national mourning.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and there is no word yet on what happened to the militants involved. However, it bears the hallmarks of an attack by ISIS.
Egyptian security forces face almost daily attacks from ISIS-aligned militants, whom they have been battling in northern Sinai for several years. However, Mosque attacks are relatively rare in Egypt.
The town of Bir Al-Abed lies on the main highway running east across northern Sinai to the city of Al-Arish and on to Rafah and Gaza.
This is a developing story.
Triple M Reports