DEATH TOLL FROM ATTACK ON MOSQUE IN EGYPT’S NORTH SINAI RISES TO 235

CAIRO, The death toll in an attack on Friday on a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai Province has risen to 235, Egyptian State television reports.

At least 109 others were wounded when suspected militants attacked the mosque, the report said. Earlier reports said at least 115 people were killed in the attack.

An explosive device planted outside the mosque near the city of Arish went off, before militants opened fire at the worshippers, an official security source told Xinhua. The attack occurred in the village of Rawda in Beir el-Abad, 40 kilometres from Arish, the source added.

Some 50 ambulances rushed to the scene after the attack. Most of the wounded were transferred to Arish Hospital for treatment.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was to chair a meeting of the national security committee, the official MENA news agency quoted presidential sources as saying. The meeting will be attended by the ministers of defence and interior in addition to the heads of general intelligence and military intelligence services, the report said.

The Egyptian presidency declared three days of mourning across the nation. The presidency in a statement condemned the terrorist attack as a treacherous and heinous action which would not be allowed to pass without punishment.

“The pains that Egyptians are suffering now would not be overcome without strict response, and the hand of justice will reach all those who took part in the attack,” the statement added.

Egypt will continue its war against the black terrorism with hope and willingness and will uproot it, it added.

The Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed el Tayeb, denounced “the terrorist attack” stressing the importance of working to eliminate terrorists.

The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt, Ambassador Ivan Surkos, also condemned the attack. “Media bringing news on attack against mosque during today’s Friday prayers in Rawda, Northern Sinai, reporting many injured,” Surkos tweeted. “I condemn this barbaric terrorist act against innocent civilians,” he added.

Egypt is suffering a wave of terrorist attacks, mostly centred on Sinai where militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since the army-led ouster of Egypt’s former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Most of the attacks, which recently expanded the city and some other cities, have been claimed by the Islamic State (Daesh) branch in Sinai.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK