235 People Gunned Down By Militants At A Mosque In Egypt After Friday Prayers

It's the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history.

Cover image via NYT via European Pressphoto Agency

"I hope God punishes them for this."

Image via Newsweek

Hundreds of bodies, covered with blankets or bloodied sheets, lay in rows inside a Sufi mosque near Egypt's Sinai coast following the deadliest militant attack in decades

The attack, which took place shortly after Friday prayers at the Rawda mosque, near the town of Bir al-Abd, saw militants detonating a bomb inside the crowded mosque and then spraying gunfire on fleeing worshipers, killing at least 235 people.

Officials have called it the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history, which also left at least 130 people injured, state-run news agency MENA said.

Image via Newsweek

"Highly coordinated operation"

The bloodshed unleashed by militants at the mosque had the hallmarks of a highly coordinated operation, reported The Washington Post.

The militants arrived in several four-wheel-drive vehicles. They exploded a bomb in the mosque and waited outside to shoot people trying to flee.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the militants blocked off escape routes with burning cars, fired rocket-propelled grenades and shot worshippers.

A 14-year-old survivor, who was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel and a bullet, told AFP that the shooting began just as the cleric was about to start his sermon.

"I saw many people on the floor, many dead. I don't think anyone survived," AFP quoted the boy as saying at a hospital in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, where around 40 of the wounded were taken, including many children.

Image via Amr Nabil/AFP

"Bullets in every part of their bodies"

According to a New York Times report, the ruthlessness of the assault has sent shock waves across Egypt as attacks on mosques are rare in Egypt.

The bloodshed has left emergency services feeling so overwhelmed that some of the wounded had to be transported to the hospital in the back of a cattle truck.

"They pretty much have bullets in every part of their bodies," the NYT quoted one of the medical officials as saying, who added, "We are swamped. We don't know what to say. This is insane."

Many others had extensive burns or limbs lost from the explosion.

Image via Amr Nabil/AFP

Meanwhile, the Egyptian President Sissi has vowed that Egypt's armed forces would respond with "brute force"

"We cannot be intimidated. Our will cannot be broken," he said.

However, so far, no group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.

According to a report in Al Jazeera, which quoted a professor at Nile University in Cairo, the attack "fits the pattern of ISIS attacks."

"Potentially, it's another attack against Sufis in northern Sinai. Potentially, it's retaliation for tribes co-operating with the state in the crackdown on ISIS," he said.

The Sufi mosque where the attack took place:

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