Egypt mosque attack leaves at least 200 dead in Sinai Peninsula

The al Rawdah mosque targeted by Islamic extremists on Friday

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but since 2013 Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State affiliate in the mainly desert region, and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

On Friday Morning, a massive explosion in Al-Rawada mosque, located in the town of Beer El Abed, in North Sinai's Al-Arish.

The jihadists have also attacked local tribes and their militias, branding them traitors for working with the army and police. The majority of those killed in the attack are civilians.

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. Ambulances from al-Arish managed to reach the mosque only after security forces secured the road, he said.

The attack is considered to be the deadliest in Egypt's modern history. Locals took up weapons to help thwart the attackers, the official said.

The attack happened in Sinai
Image The attack happened in Sinai

He affirmed his confidence that Egypt is capable of winning the war against terrorism and eradicating it, a spokesman said.

In a odd response to this ruthless attack on Muslims, President Donald Trump advocated for his ban on U.S.travel from several majority Muslim nations, which has stalled in the courts, as well as his proposed wall on the American-Mexican border.

MENA also said a state of emergency had been declared in Sinai. Our deep condolences at the loss of innocent lives. "My honest condolences to all those affected by such a barbaric act".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron also gave their condolences on Twitter, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said his thoughts were with all those affected.

"We stand with Egyptians in their war against terrorism and against anyone who tries to harm the Egyptian national security", Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement.

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