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25 November 2017, 01:08 | Floyd Cook
Egypt Sinai: Bomb and gun attack on mosque
After at least two explosions, gunmen who were waiting outside the mosque opened fire at worshipers as they fled Friday prayers, state-owned Ahram Online said. He also expressed his country's solidarity with Egypt in its fight against terrorism.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi convened an emergency meeting of his security cabinet in Cairo in response to the attack. The state news agency MENA put the death toll at 235.
U.S. President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter on Friday, called the assault a "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack".
The assailants planted home-made explosive in the mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, near Arish, and detonated them as worshippers were leaving after prayers. Nearly a year ago, Islamic State published a video showing the slaying of Suleiman Abu Haraz, the 98-year old spiritual leader of the Sufis in the Sinai.
Photos from inside the mosque showed what appeared to be bodies lined up in rows on the carpet.
El-Sisi said that Egypt is facing terrorism alone, on behalf of the region and the whole world, and said that events in Sinai are "an attempt to break our will", and to end Egypt's efforts "to terminate the terrorist plan that is aiming to destroy what is left of the region".
The attack is considered to be the deadliest in Egypt's modern history.
Egyptian security forces face nearly daily attacks from ISIS-aligned militants, whom they have been battling in northern Sinai for years. The affiliate also is believed to have been behind the 2016 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 226 people.
The terror attack has drawn widespread local and worldwide condemnation as cowardly act of terrorism.
The White House also said in a statement that "the global community must continue to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups that threaten the United States and our partners and we must collectively discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence". "God bless the people of Egypt", he tweeted.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah stressed the Gulf state's support for Egypt, the security and stability of its people and all measures taken by the Egyptian government to face terrorism.
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