Sisi vows to respond with 'brute force' against mosque attackers

Egypt Sinai: Bomb and gun attack on mosque

Militants attacked a crowded mosque during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula, setting off explosives, spraying worshippers with gunfire and killing at least 235 people in the deadliest ever attack by Islamic extremists in Egypt.

At least 230 people were killed when terrorists detonated a bomb and gunned down worshippers in the North Sinai region. Officials say about 130 others were also hurt.

The gunmen had set up "ambush" locations and opened fire on ambulances as they were transporting wounded worshippers to al-Arish before the arrival of security services, eyewitnesses reported. Egypt's presidency has also declared a three-day mourning period, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

Egypt has suffered one of its deadliest terrorist attacks in its modern history.

Egypt later said it would delay the opening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza after the attack due to security concerns.

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While the world community censured the attack, no terror group has yet claimed responsibility for it.

In October 31 2015 ISIL-SP destroyed a Russian plane carrying 224 passengers, all of whom perished in the explosion.

Egypt has for years been battling an armed movement in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula, which has gained pace since the military overthrew democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013.

North Sinai, which stretches from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, has always been a security headache for Egyptian security forces because of smuggling.

Friday's attack drew swift condemnation from leaders throughout the Middle East and beyond.

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33 Egyptians security forces were killed and a three-month long state of emergency ensued.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was deeply saddened by the "abhorrent attack". "My honest condolences to all those affected by such a barbaric act".

On the Jordanian royal family's official Twitter account, King Abdullah II condemned what he called a "heinous terrorist attack".

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani tweeted: "Heartbreaking loss of life in the cowardly massacre that took place in Egypt. Acts of barbarism and hatred in the name of God are acts against God himself". We can not & will not allow terrorists to win.

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