Over 300 people and counting were murdered after a barbaric terrorist attack at a mosque in Egypt, leaving an additional 128 injured.
Among the dead were 27 children in what’s now being called the worst terror attack in the country’s history.
“We will respond to this act with brute force against these terrorists,” said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a televised speech, “This terrorist act will strengthen our resolve, steadfastness and will to stand up to, resist and battle against terrorism.”
The attack took place at a Sufi mosque in north Sinai as approximately 30 men armed with machine guns executed a well-coordinated operation that reportedly began with a loud explosion at an adjacent building opposite the mosque.
As people began fleeing the initial bomb sight, the gunmen opened fire, then entered the mosque to continue the attack.
Photos and videos surfacing afterward revealed the carnage with multiple bodies lying motionless on the floor, many of them covered up by survivors to preserve some dignity:
In another layer of brutality, the terrorists reportedly set up multiple ambush points for any ambulances that began arriving on the scene.
As reported by CNN:
“One man told CNN he drove one of the first ambulances to the scene but turned around after shots were fired at the vehicle.
“Ambulances from al-Arish managed to reach the mosque only after security forces secured the road, he said.”
The Egyptian military was quickly deployed thereafter to attack multiple terrorist outposts.
“The Egyptian Air Force pursued the terrorist elements, discovered and destroyed a number of vehicles that carried out the brutal terrorist killings, and killed all terrorists inside those vehicles,” said military spokesman Tamer Rifai.
Additionally, outposts believed to contain stocks of weaponry and ammunition were also targeted.
ISIS has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack, though officials are increasingly convinced they are behind the operation.
The Al Rawdah mosque, with its ties to Sufism—a mystical branch of the Islamic faith deemed heresy by some extremists—could have inspired the attack.
Northern Sinai is also no stranger to ISIS-linked attacks, with Egyptian security forces being targeted almost daily.
One such extremist organization, known as the Wilayat Sinai group, vowed its allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and even claimed responsibility for the 2015 bombing of a Russian jet that killed 224 people.