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Egypt mosque attack kills 305; Army launches air strikes: Top developments

305 worshippers were killed and 109 others injured when heavily-armed militants opened fire on people attending Friday prayers

BS Web Team | Agencies  |  Cairo 

Egypt mosque attack, Egypt, Egypt terror attack, North Sinai
The Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai’s branch is one of the Islamic State’s surviving branches following the collapse of its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. (Photo: Reuters)

At least 305 people were killed and 109 others injured in a gory terror attack on a mosque in Egypt's northern Sinai region on Friday, reported state media, making it one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the country’s modern history. Hours after the attack, which took place during Friday prayers, the Egyptian air force air force today gunned down several militants and destroyed their vehicles. Here’s all we know so far: 1. At least 305 worshippers were killed and 109 others injured when heavily-armed militants bombed the al-Rowda mosque, affiliated with Sufi groups, in Al-Arish city and opened fire on people attending Friday prayers. The assailants planted a home-made explosive in the mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, near Arish, and detonated them as worshipers were leaving after prayers. The gunmen also fired at ambulances transferring the injured to hospital, eyewitnesses said. 2. According to agency inputs, the air forces targeted a number of hideouts containing weapons and ammunition that belong to the extremists," military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in the statement. The army launched "immediate and wide" ground and air raids and two drones attacked two vehicles belonging to militants in Al-Resha village. 3. Following the mosque attack, President had chaired an emergency meeting with officials to review the security situation. In a statement later, he pledged to respond with "brutal force" against militants and said Egyptians will "derive hope and determination from such pain to triumph in the war against black terrorism". 4. has declared three days of mourning. Abdel Fatah el-Sisi also ordered compensation of EGP 200,000 and EGP 50,000 to the families of the dead and injured, respectively. 5. The Indian government has dubbed the Egypt Mosque attack as 'heinous act of terror'.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson tweeted:

8. Congress President on Saturday said such an attack is a reminder that terrorism remains a formidable challenge and calls for a concerted and sustained response from the global community. Expressing solidarity with the people of Egypt, Gandhi said it is an unacceptable act of brutal terror against innocent citizens. 7. US President condemned the attack as "horrible and cowardly". He tweeted: 8. Egypt's security forces have been fighting an Islamist insurgency based in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula which has gained pace since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The insurgency has mostly targeted security forces, with attacks on military and police checkpoints common place. 9. No group has claimed responsibility for the massacre. 10. The UN Security Council, while condemning the "heinous and cowardly terrorist attack", in a statement underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these "reprehensible acts of terrorism" to justice. It urged all states to cooperate actively with the government of and all other relevant authorities in this regard.

First Published: Sat, November 25 2017. 16:35 IST