Friday, a bomb ripped through the mosque. A group of militants then opened fire on the
worshippers in a gun assault.
Officials have now raised the death toll to 305 people, including 27 children. A further 128
people were wounded in the attack.
“It shows an extreme escalation in the battle between Egypt and Islamic State.”
The militants had positioned themselves at the mosque’s main doors and 12 windows before
opening fire on those inside. The attack resulted in more than 50 ambulances ferrying the
casualties to nearby hospitals. Pictures released from the scene showed rows of bloodied
victims inside the mosque.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, it shows an extreme
escalation in the battle between Egypt and Islamic State. Egyptian security forces have been
battling the Islamic State insurgency for three years after the killing of police and soldiers. It
has been reported that the militants could be seen carrying the flag of Islamic State.
The attack was not only one of the worst terrorist attacks in Egypt’s history, but it is also the
first attack on a mosque. The justification for carrying out an attack on a Muslim place of
worship seems to be that the mosque was frequently attended by Sufis. Sufis is a sect
considered by many Islamic extremists to be heretical.
However, many conspiracy theories have begun to circulate, suggesting that this incident
has provided president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate his
Theresa May contacted the president and told him that the UK ‘stands ready to help in any
way possible’. Downing Street also stated that the two leaders agreed international
cooperation is necessary to tackle the rise in terrorism.