At least 235 people have been killed, when suspected militants set off a bomb and opened fire at a mosque in Egypt on Friday.
Dozens were injured and killed in Sinai during one of the country’s deadliest attacks in recent memory, state media and eyewitnesses said.
Eyewitnesses reported ambulances ferrying casualties from the scene to nearby hospitals after the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of Arish city, was targeted.
Witnesses said bomb explosion ripped through the Rawda mosque as worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers.
At least a further 109 people were wounded in the attack, which is unprecedented in a four-year insurgency by Islamist extremist groups.
Egypt’s military in response have launched airstrikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources and witnesses said. The targets were described as vehicles used in the attack and “terrorist” locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked.
The Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ia a TV address on Friday said,
“This act will only increase our will and unity,
“The police and military will avenge our martyrs and restore peace and security.
“We will respond with brute force to combat these terrorists and deviants … This is an attempt to deter us from fighting terrorism and to destroy our will, but we are steadfast, and I say to all Egyptians, the battle you are fighting is the most honourable.”