|According to The Guardian:
Sinai mosque death toll raised to 305 as reports claim gunmen carried Isis flagsEgypt was reeling on Saturday from the worst atrocity it has suffered in recent years, with officials putting the death toll from the bomb and gun assault on a Sinai mosque at 305. The figure includes 27 children.
A further 128 people were wounded in the attack on the Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, north Sinai. A bomb ripped through the mosque as Friday prayers were finishing, before militants opened fire on worshipers. In response, airstrikes were directed at “terrorist” locations, said military sources.
Egypt’s chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, said the attack was carried out by 25-30 militants who had stationed themselves at the mosque’s main door and 12 windows before opening fire on those inside. More than 50 ambulances ferried casualties from the mosque, about 25 miles west of the city of Arish, to nearby hospitals. Pictures from the scene showed rows of bloodied victims inside the mosque.
Theresa May yesterday told the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, that the UK “stands ready to help in any way possible”. Downing Street added that the two leaders agreed that international co-operation was needed to tackle the problem of terrorism.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it marks a significant escalation in a region where, for the past three years, Egyptian security forces have battled an Islamic State insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers. It was reported yesterday that the assailants were carrying the Islamic State flag. The attack was not only one of the worst terrorist incidents in Egyptian history, but also the first on a mosque. The justification for assaulting a Muslim place of worship appears to be that the mosque was frequented by Sufis, a sect considered by many Islamist extremists to be heretical. – More