Attack on mosque in Egypt’s Sinai kills at least 235 in deadliest militant strike

Militants set off a blast and gunned down fleeing worshipers at a crowded mosque in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, killing at least 235 people in what could mark the deadliest single assault on Egyptian civilians by suspected Islamist extremists.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the mosque — which is often frequented by Sufi Muslims — where an apparent suicide bombing ripped across the facade and people were shot as they tried to scramble to safety.

Egyptian security forces have struggled for years against an Islamic State affiliate based in the Sinai Peninsula that has killed hundreds of police and military personnel in an insurgency against the government of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

The mosque death toll, reported by state media, could not be independently confirmed. Yet Egyptians were already mourning it as the biggest loss of life from a militant attack in decades — surpassing the number of dead in the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai in 2015. That attack is believed to have been carried out by Islamic State-linked militants.

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