Prosecutor says gunmen in Sinai mosque attack carried Daesh flag; death toll raised to 305

Author: ReutersSat, 2017-11-25 18:16ID: 1511613574423212700CAIRO: Egypt mourned on Saturday as the death toll from a gun and bomb assault at a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula soared above 300, including children, in the deadliest attack the country has witnessed.The army said warplanes had struck militant hideouts in the insurgency-wracked North Sinai in retaliation.Funerals for the victims were held overnight and many were buried unwashed in their bloodied clothes, according to the Islamic burial practices for martyrs, security and medical officials said.President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi declared three days of mourning and vowed to “respond with brutal force” to the attack, among the deadliest in the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US.“The army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period,” he said in a televised speech.Hours later Egyptian air force jets pursued the “terrorists and discovered several vehicles used in the terrorist attack, killing those inside near the vicinity of the attack,” an army spokesman said in a statement.Locals and relatives of people living in the village where the attack happened said the mosque was the most prominent in the area.“This is the largest mosque in the area. It is the parent mosque, where events take place, funerals and weddings. When full it has 600 or 700 people,” said Ahmed Sweilam, whose cousins live in the village.“Darkness pervades the village now.”World leaders voiced outrage. US President Donald Trump denounced on Twitter the “horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshippers.”Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest institution of Sunni Islam, condemned “in the strongest terms this barbaric terrorist attack.”A tribal leader and head of a Bedouin militia that fights Daesh told AFP that the mosque is known as a place where Sufis gather.Daesh views Sufis as heretics. The group has also killed more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings in Sinai and other parts of Egypt, forcing many to flee the peninsula.The military has struggled to quell the terrorists who pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014.The militants have since increasingly turned to civilian targets, attacking not only Christians and Sufis but also Bedouin Sinai inhabitants accused of working with the army.The group also claimed the bombing of a Russian plane that killed all 224 people on board after takeoff from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Oct. 31, 2015.Aside from Daesh, Egypt also faces a threat from Al-Qaeda-aligned terrorists who operate out of neighboring Libya.A group calling itself Ansar Al-Islam — Supporters of Islam in Arabic — claimed an October ambush in Egypt’s Western Desert that killed at least 16 policemen.The military later conducted airstrikes on the attackers, killing their leader.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Sinai mosque attackEgyptDaeshISISNorth Sinaiterrorist attackrelated_nodes: Egypt hunts for killers after mosque carnageAttack on mosque in Egypt’s Sinai kills at least 305World leaders condemn deadly attack on Sinai mosqueNorth Sinai Mosque bombing is the latest in a spate of terrorist attacks in Egypt

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