Egypt mosque attack leaves at least 200 dead in Sinai Peninsula
25 November, 2017, 01:35 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
But this was the first major militant attack on a Muslim mosque, and it eclipsed any past attacks of its kind, even dating back to a previous Islamic militant insurgency in the 1990s.
Eyewitnesses reported ambulances ferrying casualties from the scene to nearby hospitals after the attack on Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al Abed, west of Arish city.
The jihadists have also attacked local tribes and their militias, branding them traitors for working with the army and police.
"It is a cowardly attack that aims to destabilize the [country's] unity, spread bitterness, and make us doubt our abilities", al-Sisi said while addressing the nation, adding, "however, this attack will do nothing but make us stronger and more persistent to combat terrorism".
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The White House said Trump would be speaking with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at 3 p.m.
"The world can not tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!" the president said.
Militants have carried out several attacks in Sinai since the 2013 military ouster of the country's Islamist former President Mohamed Morsi, killing hundreds of soldiers, police, and civilians. Some 109 others were injured, Egyptian state media reported.
As of Friday afternoon, no terror group had claimed responsibility for the attack. However, dozens of Christians have been killed in similar attacks on churches across Egypt.
Ahmed Al-Tayeb, a top Sunni imam, told a nationwide television audience that the Al-Azhar Mosque supports the country's leadership and the military against the terrorism groups, which he said have a false understanding of Islam.
President of the United States Donald Trump also tweeted out calling the attack an act of cowardice and praying for the families of those who were victims of this "despicable" attack.
In a statement afterward, el-Sissi said the attack "will not go unpunished" and that Egypt will persevere with its war on terrorism.
Leaders around the world condemned the mosque attack.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani tweeted: "Heartbreaking loss of life in the cowardly massacre that took place in Egypt. Acts of barbarism and hatred in the name of God are acts against God himself".
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