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Death toll in North Sinai mosque blast reaches 300; Egyptian warplanes strike ‘terrorist’ targets

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In Egypt, the death toll in North Sinai mosque blast during Friday prayers has risen to 300. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to respond with the utmost force.

The al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed was bombed and fleeing worshippers were then gunned down. The Egyptian military has said, it has conducted air strikes on terrorist targets in response. No group has yet claimed the attack, the deadliest in recent memory.

Egyptian security forces have for years been fighting an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, and militants affiliated with Islamic State have been behind scores of deadly attacks in the desert region.

President Sisi said in a televised address hours after the attack that what is happening is an attempt to stop them from their efforts in the fight against terrorism. He said, the armed forces and the police will avenge their martyrs and restore security and stability with the utmost force.

An army spokesman said terrorist spots, where weapons and ammunition were reportedly stocked, had been bombed by air force jets. The official also said that several vehicles used in the attack had been located and destroyed. Three days of national mourning have been declared.
India has condemned in strongest terms the terror attack. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India resolutely supports the fight against all forms of terrorism and stands with the people as well as the government of Egypt.
US President Donald Trump condemned the incident as horrible and cowardly. In a tweet, Mr. Trump said, the world cannot tolerate terrorism and we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also condemned the attack and said Paris stood with its ally. The UN Security Council has condemned the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack. In a statement, Security Council emphasized the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice.

It urged all states to cooperate actively with the government of Egypt and all other relevant authorities in this regard. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Egypt. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also condemned the attack.

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