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Egypt President vows 'response' after mosque massacre
Egypt's President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi has vowed to respond forcefully after attackers killed more than 235 worshippers and injured more than hundred in a packed mosque in restive North Sinai province, the country's deadliest attack in recent memory.
According to the BBC News, President Al Sisi declared three days of mourning would begin on Saturday, the day after the gun and bomb assault on the Al Rawdah mosque, roughly 40km west of the North Sinai capital of Al Arish.
In a televised speech the President pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period".
Several hours later Egyptian Air Force jets destroyed vehicles used in the attack and "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked, an army spokesman said.
Prosecutors said the mosque attack on Friday was the deadliest in Egypt in two years. Around 103 people were also injured, the prosecutors added, according to the official television. The attack started with bomb explosions around the mosque, survivors and security sources said. Masked gunmen then shot at the panic-stricken worshippers as they were trying to leave the mosque.
The attack targeted the Al Rawdah mosque west of Al Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai during the weekly Friday prayers. The gunmen also shot at ambulances that were trying to evacuate the victims from the site, state television reported.
The attack is seen as a turning point in assaults by extremists whose previous assaults mainly targeted security forces and Egypt's Christian minority.
"The world was shocked by Friday's terrorist attack targeting the Al Rawdha Mosque in Egypt as 235 innocent people were martyred. Shame on those who killed them," His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai tweeted. "May Allah protect Egypt, its people and help us to be Egypt's supporter forever," he added.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 235 victims of the Rawdah mosque bombing in Egypt. May God rest their souls. We stand with Egypt at this difficult time.? HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) said on Friday.
President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi held a crisis meeting with a security committee comprising ministers of the defence and interior as well as chiefs of intelligence services and discussed consequences of the assault, the television added without further details.
Al Sissi vowed "deterrent and firm" punishment against perpetrators and financiers of the attack. "This dastardly act, which reflects inhumanity of its perpetrators, will not go without a deterrent and firm punishment," a presidential statement said.
Egyptian media reports say at least 235 people have been killed in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the country's northern Sinai Peninsula.The attack occurred in Bir al-Abed, a town in North Sinai province, shortly after Friday prayers.
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