Advertisements
Latest Updates

Egypt Mosque Massacre: 235 people confirmed dead.

The mosque in Bir al-Abed, about 40km west of El Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai, was frequented by Sufis.

Militants attacked a crowded mosque during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula, setting off explosives, spraying worshippers with gunfire and killing at least 235 people in the deadliest ever attack by Islamic extremists in Egypt.

The attack targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of Islam’s mystical movement, in the north Sinai town of Bir al-Abd. Islamic militants, including the local affiliate of the ISIS group, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith.

The startling bloodshed, which also wounded at least 109, was the latest sign of how more than three years of fighting in Sinai has been unable to crush an insurgency waged by the ISIS affiliate. Seeking to spread the violence, the militants the past year have carried out deadly bombings on churches in the capital, Cairo, and other cities, killing dozens of Christians. The affiliate also is believed to have been behind the 2016 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 226 people

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.

mosque 1

Egyptian media reports say at least 235 people have been killed in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the country’s northern Sinai Peninsula.

The militants opened fire from four off-road vehicles on the hundreds of worshippers attending the sermon in the mosque. They also blocked off escape routes from the area by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks blocking the roads, three police officers on the scene said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Dozens of bloodied bodies wrapped up in sheets were laid across the mosque floor, according to images circulating on social media. Relatives queuing up outside the hospital as ambulances raced back and forth. The state news agency MENA put the death toll at 235.

Resident Ashraf el-Hefny said many of the victims were workers at a nearby salt factory who had come for Friday services at the mosque.

“Local people brought the wounded to hospital on their own cars and trucks,” he said by telephone.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. But ISIS has targeted Sufis several times in the area in the past, notably beheading a leading Sufi religious figure, the blind sheikh Suleiman Abu Heraz, last year and posting photos of the killing online.

Egypt’s presidency declared a three-day mourning period, as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi convened a high-level meeting of security officials.

In a statement afterward, el-Sissi said the attack “will not go unpunished” and that Egypt will persevere with its war on terrorism.

egypt 1

President el-Sissi said the attack “will not go unpunished”.

The militants opened fire from four off-road vehicles on the hundreds of worshippers attending the sermon in the mosque. They also blocked off escape routes from the area by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks blocking the roads, three police officers on the scene said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Dozens of bloodied bodies wrapped up in sheets were laid across the mosque floor, according to images circulating on social media. Relatives queuing up outside the hospital as ambulances raced back and forth. The state news agency MENA put the death toll at 235.

Resident Ashraf el-Hefny said many of the victims were workers at a nearby salt factory who had come for Friday services at the mosque.

“Local people brought the wounded to hospital on their own cars and trucks,” he said by telephone.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. But ISIS has targeted Sufis several times in the area in the past, notably beheading a leading Sufi religious figure, the blind sheikh Suleiman Abu Heraz, last year and posting photos of the killing online.

Egypt’s presidency declared a three-day mourning period, as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi convened a high-level meeting of security officials.

In a statement afterward, el-Sissi said the attack “will not go unpunished” and that Egypt will persevere with its war on terrorism.

Advertisements
About Olaniyi Apanpa (401 Articles)
Olaniyi Apanpa is a media practitioner and sports enthusiast. Contact at greenballmedia51@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: