Middle East World News

Egypt army launches offensive against militants after deadly mosque attack

Following the mosque attack, President Abdel Fattah el- Sisi had chaired an emergency meeting with officials to review security situation.

The Egyptian air force on Saturday gunned down several militants and destroyed their vehicles, hours after over 230 worshippers were killed in a terrorist attack at a mosque in the country’s restive North Sinai region.

Army spokesperson Tamer el-Refai said in a statement that the air forces launched retaliatory attacks on terror hideouts in the surrounding area of North Sinai, killing militants and destroying vehicles used in the deadly attack.

He said arms and ammunition depots of the militants were also targeted.
At least 235 worshippers were killed and 109 injured when heavily-armed militants bombed the al-Rowda mosque in Al-Arish city and opened fire on people attending Friday prayers.
Earlier, local media reports quoting sources in the security force said the army launched “immediate and wide” ground and air raids and two drones attacked two vehicles belonging to militants in Al-Resha village near el-Rouda village.
Following the mosque attack, President Abdel Fattah el- Sisi had chaired an emergency meeting with officials to review security situation.
In a statement later, he pledged to respond with “brutal force” against militants.
He had said that the “vile and treacherous” activity would not pass without a decisive punishment.
The Egypt government has announced three days of mourning.

Trump calls Sisi, says can’t tolerate ‘barbaric terrorist’ groups
US President Donald Trump said the international community cannot tolerate “barbaric terrorist” groups as he called his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to offer condolences after militants killed over 200 people in Egypt’s North Sinai region.

“The international community cannot tolerate barbaric terrorist groups and must strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism in all its forms,” the White House said after the phone call between the two leaders.
During the phone call, Mr. Trump offered condolences to the people of Egypt.
“Trump condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism,” the White House said.

Trudeau ‘shocked and horrified’ by attack

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a statement said, said he was “shocked and horrified” by the terrorist attack.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims of today’s attack.
“We hope for a complete and rapid recovery for all those injured,” he said.
Mr. Trudeau said, “This senseless attack targeting people praying at their place of worship — a place where they should have felt safe and secure.”
He said Canada condemns this attack and stands shoulder- to-shoulder with the people of Egypt in this difficult time.
Mr. Trudeau said Canada will continue to work closely with allies and the international community to counter violent extremism that leads to such “appalling acts“.
“We must stand against these acts of terrorism and counter hate by promoting the values of diversity, inclusion, and peace,” he said.

UN Security Council condemns attack

The UN Security Council, while condemning the “heinous and cowardly terrorist attack”, in a statement underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these “reprehensible acts of terrorism” to justice.
It urged all states to cooperate actively with the government of Egypt and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
Any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, the Security Council said.
The UN Secretary General also condemned the terrorist attack.
“The Secretary General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Egypt and wishes a swift recovery to those who have been injured,” said a statement attributable to the spokesperson of the Secretary General.
“The murder of innocent people in the midst of prayer is an especially cruel and devastating form of terror, compounded by the purported attackers waiting around to spray fleeing victims and arriving medical and security personnel with gunfire,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
This criminal act was perpetrated within a sacred place of worship where people of faith seek peace and comfort and share the values of compassion and tolerance, said High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

Noting that the news of the terror attack on the Sufi mosque in Egypt is “deeply saddening”, the Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, said “murdering hundreds of worshippers at prayer is a vile act of brutality”.

“We are horrified by these terrorists’ assault on people simply gathering in community to practice their faith in peace,” she said.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost loved ones and all those wounded.
“We must be strong and smart to defeat terror, and Americans stand in solidarity with the Egyptian people in this terrible time,” Ms. Pelosi said.

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