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Sisi vows to respond with 'brute force' against mosque attackers

25 November 2017

The Egyptian military kicked off a hunt for the attackers of a Sufi mosque in the northern Sinai, a military source said, combing the area of Friday's assault that killed at least 235 people - thought to be the deadliest terror attack on the country's soil.

The attack targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of Islam's mystical movement, in the north Sinai town of Bir al-Abd.

Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili: "Our most honest condolences to the families of victims, the Government and the people of Egypt and everyone affected by the heinous attack on the mosque in Sinai".

North Sinai, which stretches from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, has always been a security headache for Egyptian security forces because of smuggling.

MENA reported that Egypt's presidency declared a three-day mourning period for the attack, as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi convened a high-level meeting of security officials. Numerous attacks have killed many throughout the country.

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Witnesses said the assailants surrounded the mosque with all-terrain vehicles then planted a bomb outside, AFP reported.

Images from inside the building showed dozens of bodies wrapped in blood-soaked cloth lined up on the carpeted floor. However, mosque attacks are relatively rare in Egypt.

On the Jordanian royal family's official Twitter account, King Abdullah II condemned what he called a "heinous terrorist attack".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: "Strongly condemn the barbaric terrorist attack on a place of worship in Egypt".

According to local media, supporters of Egyptian security forces were the primary target of the attack, as they were reportedly praying at the mosque.

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The president said that Egypt will stand strong in the face of terrorism, and will continue its war against it.

Gunment shot worshippers fleeing the initial attack, he added.

President Donald Trump, in a tweet, called the attack "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt".

"The world can not tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence", he added.

View of the Rawda mosque after a gun and bombing attack on November 24, 2017.

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Sisi vows to respond with 'brute force' against mosque attackers