Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pledged to use “brute force against that small band of extremist terrorists” following a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in the Northern Sinai region on Friday which left 235 worshipers dead and over 100 injured.
“The Armed Forces and the police will avenge our martyrs and restore security and stability in full force in the next period,” el-Sisi declared in a live televised address after the earlier assault during Friday prayers at the al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed.
“All that is happening is an attempt to stop our efforts in our fight against terror and an attempt to break our will in ending the terrible criminal scheme that aims to destroy what remains of the region,” el-Sisi said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned the “painful terror attack in Egypt.”
“There is no difference between terrorism harming Egypt and terrorism harming other countries. Terror will be beaten more quickly if all countries work against it together,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for Friday’s atrocity, but ISIS and other Sunni Islamist terror groups have carried out similar attacks in the past. In August, 30 worshipers were murdered at a Shia mosque in Kabul, the Afghan capital, in an ISIS gun attack. ISIS considers the Shia and other minority streams of Islam to be “apostates.”
The al-Rawda mosque was frequented by Sufi Muslims, who are denounced by ISIS as “infidels.” ISIS has also carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority over the last six years.
Some reports suggested that members of the Egyptian security forces had attended Friday prayers at the mosque, which would have been a further incentive for ISIS to carry out the attack.
Sisi ended his address by offering financial compensation to the families of those killed on Friday of between $3-11,000 for each victim.
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner . Ben Cohen