Egypt mosque attack claims over 200 lives

"I am deeply saddened by the cowardly terrorist act that targeted a mosque, in northern Sinai, and resulting deaths and injuries, the Crown Prince said".

US President Donald Trump: "Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt".

Witnesses said bomb explosion ripped through the Rawda mosque as worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, in a statement following the attack in Egypt, called on the global community to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups.

In July this year, at least 23 soldiers were killed when suicide auto bombs hit two military checkpoints in the Sinai, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

In March 19 2016 13 Egyptians policemen were killed by ISIL-SP during an attack in the El-Arish checkpoint, Arish is the largest city in Sinai.

Some 75 people had been wounded in the attack, a health ministry spokesman told Egyptian TV.

Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life. Sufis are considered by Islamic fundamentalists to be apostates and are frequently the target of Islamic militants.

The suffering of the victims was not in vain, he added, and will only "add to our insistence" to combat extremists.

Cairo's worldwide airport boosted security following the attack, with more forces patrolling passenger halls, conducting searches and manning checkpoints at airport approaches.

Hundreds of Sufi Muslims were slaughtered during Friday prayers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula by suspected Islamic militants.

The result has been a long, grinding conflict centered on el-Arish and nearby villages and desert mountains.

The group has killed more than 100 Christians in church bombings and shootings in Sinai and other parts of Egypt, forcing many to flee the peninsula. But the militants have also assassinated individuals the group considers spies for the government or religious heretics.

"What is happening in North Sinai is a real reflection of our efforts to combat terrorism, and Egypt is in this war alone on behalf of the region, and the entire world" al-Sisi went on to say.

Rohan reported from Cairo.

  • Jon Douglas