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Mass Slaughter Ravaging Worshipers in North Sinai Mosque

Mass Slaughter Ravaging Worshipers in North Sinai Mosque

Saturday, 25 November, 2017 - 08:15
Egyptians gather around bodies following a gun and bombing attack at the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometers west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, on November 24, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / STRINGER)

Terror hit Egypt hard on Friday leaving behind dozens killed or injured in an unprecedented attack against Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai.

Militants killed at least 235 people after detonating a bomb and gunning down worshipers.

In the aftermath of the bloodbath, Egyptian air force jets destroyed vehicles used in the mosque attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, the army spokesman said Friday.

The planes "destroyed several vehicles used in the attack," Tamer el-Refai said, adding they had also targeted "terrorist spots containing weapons and ammunition".

Earlier, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi gave a speech after holding an immediate security meeting into what is being reported as the deadliest terror attack on Egyptian soil.

“The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force,” Sisi said in a televised address.

“What is happening is an attempt to stop us from our efforts in the fight against terrorism, to destroy our efforts to stop the terrible criminal plan that aims to destroy what is left of our region.”

"Egypt is facing terrorism on behalf of the world," Sisi said in his speech.

The Egyptian presidency announced mourning for three days across the country.

Security experts and specialists in Islamic movements considered the attack a massive turn of events for terror attacks in Egypt.

"Signs show that the attack was a desperate process following the army's success in striking the terror group in Sinai," experts told Asharq Al-Awsat.

They pointed out that targeting mosques is a terror that has no religious or moral justification.

“ISIS’ losses in Syria, Iraq and Libya confirm that we are in an open confrontation fought in an unprecedented approach,” they added.

“Targeting mosques and spreading fear has no religious or moral justification, and is described as ‘arbitrary terror’”.

"What happened in Sinai is a new development of terrorism targeting mosques," said Major General Dr. Mohammad Qashqoush, a professor of national security at the Nasser Military Academy in Egypt.

“All evidence points out to the involvement Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, whether they claimed the attack or not,” said Qashqoush.

"The targeting of Al-Rawda mosque is evidence of the indiscriminate targeting the organization is adopting as a tactic, which is described as 'arbitrary terrorism', in order to deliver a message on the Egyptian state not being able to protect its civilians."

He pointed out that "when the terrorist organization chooses an easy target,” it is evident that the group is taking on a different and more brutal style of attacks.

 Such a change adds a new burden on armed forces entering an open confrontation on mosques’ premises, not in security zones or hotspots. 

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