Mosque arcade

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At least 200 people have been injured or killed in a bomb and gun attack during Friday prayers at a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. It’s the deadliest attack on Egyptian civilians by Islamic extremists, according to the Associated Press.

The country’s state-run MENA news agency said that 200 people died and 130 were injured at a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of Islam’s mystical movement, in the north Sinai town of Bir al-Abd.

The militants opened fire from four off-road vehicles on worshippers inside the mosque during the sermon, blocking off escape routes from the area by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks blocking the roads, three police officers on the scene told the Associated Press.

While the Islamic State has previously targeted churches and Christians throughout Northern Sinai and Cairo, Friday’s violence marks its first major militant attack on a Muslim mosque. The Sufi school of Islam is considered blasphemous by extremists, including the Islamic State.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the attack, calling it a “horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt.”

Politicians from around the world tweeted their shock and condolences to the country. Prominent Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, also expressed their solitude.  

A state of emergency had been declared in Sinai, while Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared three days of mourning for the victims of the blast, according to MENA.

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