Egypt on Saturday said an attack on a mosque by militants in the country’s troubled region of northern Sinai has killed 305 worshippers, including 27 children, a dramatic increase in the death toll previously announced, which was 235.
A statement by the country’s chief prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, said the attack Friday left another 128 people wounded.
It said the attackers, estimated at between 25 and 30, arrived at the mosque close to the small town of Bir al-Abd in five all-terrain vehicles and positioned themselves at the main door and the facility’s 12 windows before opening fire. They also torched seven cars parked outside the mosque, which belonged to worshippers inside.
Quoting testimonies given to investigators by survivors, the statement said some of the attackers were masked. Those who were not sported heavy beards and long hair. The militants wore camouflaged pants and black T-shirts, it added.
Also on Saturday, Egyptian warplanes were in action over Sinai, according to the military, targeting several vehicles in which some of the culprits of the attack were traveling. All passengers of the vehicles were killed, it added. It was impossible to independently verify the claim since the media is virtually banned from working in Sinai.