Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Egypt Prosecution: Mosque Attack Death Toll Rises, Militants Carried ISIS Flag

Egypt Prosecution: Mosque Attack Death Toll Rises, Militants Carried ISIS Flag

Saturday, 25 November, 2017 - 10:45
Abdallah Abdel Nasser, 14, receives medical treatment at Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, on Friday after he was in injured during an attack on a mosque. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

The death toll from an attack on worshipers at a mosque in Egypt's Sinai rose to 305, the state prosecution said, adding at least 25 militants carrying the ISIS flag were behind the bloodshed.

Among the dead at the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El-Arish city, were 27 children, the prosecution said in a statement reported by state television.

Another 128 were wounded, chief Prosecutor Nabil Sadeq said.

The attackers “numbered between 25 and 30, carrying ISIS’ flag and took up positions in front of the mosque door and its 12 windows with automatic rifles," the statement added.

Witnesses say gunmen set off a bomb at the end of Friday prayers and then opened fire as worshipers tried to flee, shooting at ambulances and setting fire to cars to block roads.

It took the attackers an approximate 20 minutes to kill and maim worshipers.

Egypt's military said on Saturday it had carried out air strikes and raids overnight against militants held responsible for the attack, which was seen as the bloodiest in Egypt's modern history.

"The air force has over the past few hours eliminated a number of outposts used by terrorist elements," the army said.

The attack brought condemnation from leaders from Washington to Moscow, while President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared three days of mourning in the shocked nation.

On Saturday, he ordered that a mausoleum be built in memory of the victims.

No group has claimed responsibility, but Egyptian forces are battling a stubborn ISIS affiliate in the region, one of the surviving branches of the militant group after it suffered defeats by US-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.

Editor Picks