Some of the gunmen rushed in to the mosque, where they opened fire on the worshipers. Others waited outside, picking off those who had were able to flee.
The gunmen lingered at the scene even as emergency workers arrived to take care of the wounded, opening fire on several ambulances, Ahmed el-Ansari, a senior government health official, said on state television.
Mayna Nasser, 40, who was simply shot twice in the shoulder, drifted in and out of consciousness as he was rushed to medical center. “My children were there, my children were there,” he said, according to Samy, the volunteer crisis medical worker who drove him there and who declined to give his last name.
Advertisement Continue reading the main story
Samy, who spoke simply by phone, said the crisis services on Bir al-Abed were so overwhelmed that some of the wounded had to be transported to a healthcare facility in the back of cattle truck.
Many were taken up to the general hospital found in the El Arish, where medics described chaotic scenes as personnel struggled to handle a good flood of dead and wounded. “They just about have bullets atlanta divorce attorneys portion of their bodies,” explained one medical established, speaking by mobile. Others had comprehensive burns or limbs dropped from the explosion.
“We will be swamped,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t know what to say. This is insane.”
Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the primary story Please verify you’re not a good robot by clicking the box. Invalid email. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. Sign Up You consent to receive occasional updates and special offers for THE BRAND NEW York Times’s services and products. Many thanks for subscribing. An error has occurred. Please try again later. View new York Times newsletters.
President Trump, writing in Twitter, denounced the attack as a good “horrible and cowardly.”
“The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!” he said.
In Sinai, the Egyptian military has been battling an Islamist militia called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic Condition in 2014 and has since became among the group’s most effective local affiliates. The group’s deadliest attack targeted a Russian jetliner that crashed soon after takeoff from Sharm el Sheikh in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.
Egyptian security forces have also been closely monitoring returning Islamic State fighters from Syria and Iraq, amid worries that an influx of battle-hardened jihadis could insert a volatile brand-new element into Egypt’s militant mix.
The Egyptian authorities have already been hoping to stem the tide of Islamist violence in Sinai through their sponsorship of a Palestinian peace initiative involving Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.
Islamic Condition militants have previously used tunnels into Gaza to source weapons and get medical treatment for wounded fighters. One benefit for Egypt of the peace initiative, which Egypt’s General Cleverness Directorate has mediated, is usually increased control over those tunnels.
Before spate of attacks on Christian churches this year, Egyptian militants had avoided large-scale assaults on Egyptian civilians, perhaps because history taught that they tended to backfire. After a massacre in Luxor that killed 62 people, mostly tourists, in 1997, President Hosni Mubarak released a sweeping crackdown that crushed the Islamist insurgency centered in southern Egypt.
Advertisement Continue reading the main story
When a new insurgency flared in the north Sinai after the army takeover in 2013, the extremists top rated it were careful to focus their attacks in the uniformed reliability forces they blamed for the army takeover. But mainly because those militants embraced the Islamic Condition, generally known as ISIS or ISIL, they possess gradually set aside that lesson.
Various residents of Bir al-Abed, on the primary road through northern Sinai, are Bedouins from the Abu Greir tribe, which is usually predominantly Sufi. Occupants said that regardless of the new threats by Islamic Condition the town had been generally peaceful. The peace offer involving Hamas had even more raised hopes that reliability was improving.
However the Islamic State, a radical Sunni activity, has much time considered Sufis apostates, along with Shiite Muslims, and has a history of attacking their mosques in other countries. Sufis can be Sunni or Shiite but the majority are Sunni.
The Islamic State in particular rejects the Sufi practice of praying at the tombs of saints, which it views as a type of idolatry. Since 2016, when the group unveiled a video recording describing Sufism as a “disease,” it has claimed attacks which have killed at least 130 worshipers at Sufi shrines, most of them in Pakistan.
Elsewhere, ISIS has made a spectacle of bulldozing Sufi shrines, describing their removal mainly because a type of purifying the faith.
In a statement, Hamas issued denounced the attack as a “criminal explosion” that “violates all heavenly commandments and human values” because it attacked a mosque. “It is a grave obstacle to Muslims world-wide,” the group said.
In October, Mr. Sisi ordered a significant reshuffle of his reliability crew after an ambush in the desert left at least 16 Egyptian reliability officials dead. That attack was soon after claimed by a previously unfamiliar group called Ansar al-Islam, which is usually believed to possess links to Al Qaeda.