The attackers placed homemade explosive devices around the temple and detonated them when the faithfuls went in for Friday’s prayer in North Sinai. Then they shot those who tried to escape.
The mosque where the attack took place
At least 85 people were killed and 80 wounded in a terrorist attack on a mosque, west of Al Arish in the north of the Sinai peninsula (northeast), the official news agency MENA reported on Monday.
The attackers placed homemade explosive devices around the mosque and detonated them when the faithfuls left for prayers on Friday, the sacred day for Muslims. The people who were able to escape were shot by the extremists, a security source told AFP.
Ambulances rushed to the scene, while Egyptian security forces chased the attackers. The witnesses told the Egyptian official newspaper Al Ahram that the Al Rauda mosque, located in the village of the same name, in the town of Bear al Abd, west of Al Arish – the capital of North Sinai – belongs to the Sufi community.
The Ministry of Health has alerted the ambulance service and all hospitals in the province, the MENA agency reported.
The Egyptian president, Abdelfatah al Sisi, is meeting with the security commission to investigate and assess the consequences of this event against the Al Rauda mosque, according to Egyptian television. In addition, he declared three days of national mourning.
So far, no extremist group has claimed responsibility for this attack. In the province of North Sinai operates the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State jihadist group, called Wilayat Sina, and which has been responsible for most of the attacks in recent years in the country. Egypt has been in a state of emergency since last April in the wake of attacks on two Coptic churches in the Nile delta .