Egypt Vows to ‘Respond With Brutal Force’ After Deadly Mosque Attack

Published November 25th, 2017 - 07:45 GMT
View of the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, after a gun and bomb attack killed 235 there on November 24, 2017 (Stringer/AFP)
View of the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, after a gun and bomb attack killed 235 there on November 24, 2017 (Stringer/AFP)
  • Egypt's president has pledged to "respond with brutal force" following a deadly mosque attack
  • At least 235 worshippers were killed in Northern Sinai on Friday in a bombing and shooting
  • The Egyptian air force targeted "terrorist" locations later in the day
  • Friday's attack is seen as a turning point since previous assaults mainly targeted security forces and Egypt's Christian minority
 

Egypt's President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi has vowed to respond forcefully after attackers killed at least 235 worshippers in a packed mosque in restive North Sinai province, the country's deadliest attack in recent memory.

Al Sisi declared three days of mourning would begin on Saturday, the day after the gun and bomb assault on the Al Rawdah mosque, roughly 40km west of the North Sinai capital of Al Arish.

In a televised speech the president pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period".

Several hours later Egyptian air force jets destroyed vehicles used in the attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, an army spokesman said.

 

 

Deadliest attack

Prosecutors said the mosque attack on Friday is the deadliest in Egypt in two years.

Around 103 people were also injured, the prosecutors added, according to the official television.

The attack started with bomb explosions around the mosque, survivors and security sources said.

Masked gunmen then shot at the panic-stricken worshippers as they were trying to leave the mosque.

The attack targeted the Al Rawdah mosque west of Al Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai during the weekly Friday prayers.

The gunmen also shot at ambulances that were trying to evacuate the victims from the site, state television reported.

The attack is seen as a turning point in assaults by extremists whose previous assaults mainly targeted security forces and Egypt's Christian minority.

Sissi vows to punish mosque attackers and financiers

President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi held a crisis meeting with a security committee comprising ministers of the defence and interior as well as chiefs of intelligence services and discussed consequences of the assault, the television added without further details.

Al Sissi vowed "deterrent and firm" punishment against perpetrators and financiers of the attack.

"This dastardly act, which reflects inhumanity of its perpetrators, will not go without a deterrent and firm punishment," a presidential statement said.

"The hand of justice will reach everyone who participated, supported, financed or incited this cowardly attack on innocent worshippers," the statement added.

Images on local media showed the dead covered with bed sheets inside the mosque that belongs to a local Sufi order.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt’s deadliest in two years.

This article has been edited by Al Bawaba from its original version


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