An attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula has killed at least 235 and injured dozens more. Local police told men inside four off-road vehicles sprayed bullets at those gathered for Friday prayers at house of worship in Al Rawdah, Sinai, in what appeared to latest attack by local Islamic State affiliate. A bomb was also reportedly detonated near the center of town while the service unfolded. President Trump took to Twitter to condemn the attack late Friday morning. “Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence” he wrote. Another 120 were injured in strike, with officials noting death toll is likely to continue to rise. Sources within ministry of health additionally told the network attackers blocked off routes to hospitals and took aim at ambulances transporting the wounded.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi convened an emergency meeting in wake of deadly attack. Meanwhile, investigative teams, military and police are in area and “chasing down the perpetrators” a military source said. Egypt has long been battling militants in North Sinai, where hundreds of law enforcement officers and soldiers have been killed since fighting there has intensified in recent years. ISIS in September ambushed a police convoy in area, leaving 18 police dead and another 7 wounded. Attack was the single largest targeting Egyptian civilians and first on mosque since Islamic State affiliate turned violent following 2013 ousting of their elected, but controversial, Islamist president.