“They targeted Muslims. They killed Muslims.”
The death toll in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the northern Sinai has risen to 305, including 27 children, Egypt’s state prosecutor said Saturday.
Another 128 people were injured, according to a statement from the public prosecutor read out on the Egyptian news channel Nile TV.
Between 25 to 30 armed men carried out the assault on the al-Rawdah Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed, the statement said.
In the past, militants had targeted police and military forces, as well as churches in northern Sinai.
This is the first time that militants have targeted worshippers inside a mosque in the area.
The public prosecutor said in a statement that the attackers arrived in five SUVs and were armed with automatic machine guns. They took position in front of the mosque and its entrances.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi said that it would be avenged with “brute force.” The Egyptian military said that it had launched air raids on the vehicles in which the suspected attackers were believed to have used in their attack on the al-Radwa mosque earlier that day.
Mohamed Saleh, a pharmacist in Cairo, described the attack as a “lightning shock.”
“They targeted Muslims. They killed Muslims,” he said. “Egypt has suffered a lot, but these are our cruellest years.”