More than 230 people were killed when militants attacked a mosque in Egyptian’s North Sinai.
At least 130 people were injured, news agencies report. The local Islamic State affiliate — Sinai Province — appeared to be responsible, the Associated Press reported. Police said extremists in four off-road vehicles bombed the mosque and fired on worshippers during a sermon at the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, located 25 miles from the regional capital of el-Arish. The militants stopped people from escaping by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks blocking the roads, police told the Associated Press. Masked insurgents wearing military uniforms and waving black flags executed the massacre as they surrounded the building and stormed areas including an area that consisted children during Friday prayers, local media (Middle Eastern News Agencies) reported.
Terrorists wearing suicide vests detonated explosives and others then shot worshippers dead as they tried to flee the blasts
Naftali Bennett, the Israeli education minister, said this,
“A time for international unity in the war on terror wherever it presents itself: Russia, Europe, the US, Israel and the Arab World — we have all been hurt by terror and must unite in our battle against it.”
According to the Associated Press, it is the largest single attack targeting Egyptian civilians and it is the first on a large mosque since the militants began their campaign of terror in 2013. The Egyptian government has been battling an Islamist insurgency in the region for a number of years. The Islamic insurrection seemed to have intensified in 2013 after the army successfully overthrew the president, Mohamed Morsi.
A new group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for a bloody attack on Egyptian police back October of 2017. The conflict has killed hundreds of soldiers and militants over the years, although journalists and correspondents are banned from the area and exact numbers regarding the death roll remain unclear.