Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has ordered the construction of a mausoleum in memory of the 235 people killed by Islamic militants inside a mosque in northern Sinai.
A presidential statement did not say where the mausoleum would stand or who would be commissioned to build it, but the decision to have one reflects the depth of grief felt by the government over the death of so many people in yesterday’s attack, the deadliest by Islamic extremists in Egypt’s modern history.
The mosque was frequented by Sufis, followers of a mystic school of Islam. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but the extremist Islamic State group has repeatedly declared that it views Sufis as heretics and vowed to rid Sinai, and Egypt, of them.
Millions of Egyptians practice Sufi rituals, like reciting poetry, dancing and singing as means to be closer to God. Egypt’s military says warplanes have struck several vehicles used in the attack on a northern Sinai mosque that killed 235 people, destroying and killing all passengers.
The military’s statement yesterday said the vehicles were hit in the vicinity of the previous day’s attack on a mosque in the Sinai town of Bir al-Abd, the deadliest by Islamic extremists in Egypt’s modern history.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the extremist Islamic State group has in the past vowed to rid Sinai, and Egypt, of Sufis. A local IS affiliate is spearheading the insurgency in Sinai, where government forces have battled militants for years.
The mosque was frequented by Sufis, members of a mystic movement within Islam that’s viewed by extremists as heretic. Militants assaulted a crowded mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula during prayers in the deadliest-ever attack by Islamic extremists in Egypt.
They blasted helpless worshippers yesterday with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades and blocked their escape routes. At least 235 people were killed before the assailants got away.
The attack in the troubled northern part of the Sinai targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of a mystic movement within Islam.
Islamic militants, including the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith.
The startling bloodshed in the town of Bir al-Abd also wounded at least 109, according to the state news agency. It offered the latest sign that the Egyptian government has failed to deter an IS-led insurgency.