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Over 200 Killed In Egypt Mosque Attack



Egyptian media reports say at least 235 people have been killed in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the country's northern Sinai Peninsula.
The attack occurred in Bir al-Abed, a town in North Sinai province, shortly after Friday prayers.
Egyptian state media MENA put the death toll at 235, citing an official security source. It also said that 120 people were wounded in the attack.
The mosque in Bir al-Abed, about 40km west of El Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai, was frequented by Sufis.
The government declared a three-day period of mourning for the victims.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi condemned the attack, which he described as "criminal" and "cowardly" in a televised statement on Friday.
He expressed condolences to the victims and their families and said the attack "will not go unpunished".
"The armed forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force," Sisi said.
The Egyptian military launched air strikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed hours after the attack, security sources and witnesses told Reuters news agency. 
No group has claimed responsibility but local affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group have claimed previous attacks.
Officials said the attackers arrived in four 4WD vehicles and carried out their attack while the sermon was being delivered after Friday prayers.
Local media reports said the attackers planted explosives and then opened fire on worshippers.
The attackers next targeted fleeing worshipers with gunfire.
Images on Egyptian state TV showed dozens of bodies covered in blood, lying inside a mosque.
Most of their faces were covered with white cloths, while other bodies were wrapped in prayer rugs. Some men and women could be seen next to the bodies.
The previous attacks in Sinai mostly targeted security forces and members of Egypt's Coptic Christians minority.
However, mosques in North Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid town have also been attacked.
It is believed the Bir al-Abed mosque was an easy target because it was outside the province's main cities.

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