At least 235 people were killed and 109 injured when gunmen armed with explosives attacked a Sufi-linked mosque in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, according to officials quoted by the state media, the deadliest assault in the country’s modern history.
The assailants detonated a bomb at the Al Rawda mosque in the town of Ber al Abd, west of the city of al-Arish, state media said, before firing at people trying to flee. Several ambulance vehicles were fired upon as they tried to ferry the injured from the scene, state television said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The Egyptian branch of Islamic State regularly stages assaults in Sinai, and is active in al-Arish. A string of terrorist attacks have hit the sparsely populated province since 2013, mostly targeting policemen and army troops. Violence against Coptic Christians has also increased.
The attack is likely to heap political pressure on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who came to power vowing to take a harsh stance against extremism but has failed to halt regular attacks across the country, particularly in Sinai.
“This heinous act, which reflects the inhumanity of its perpetrators, will not pass without a firm and once-for-all punishment,” said Mr. Sisi.
The president declared three days of mourning and will meet with a panel of top security officials and intelligence chiefs to assess the attack, state media said. Images of corpses wrapped in blood-soaked fabric and…