Home WORLD NEWS At least 305 killed during Friday prayers at mosque in Egypt

At least 305 killed during Friday prayers at mosque in Egypt

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CAIRO — At least 305 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and bombed a mosque in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula on Friday. Government officials said 128 more had been injured in the attack — among the deadliest in Egypt’s history.

The rising death toll included 27 children, officials said.

Images from inside the building showed dozens of bodies wrapped in blood-soaked cloth lined up on the carpeted floor.

Police sources told The Associated Press that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers in the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Al Rawdah. NBC News could not immediately independently verify that account.

Two eyewitnesses and a security source told Reuters that the suspected militants targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers. Citing official sources, the state-run MENA news agency reported that the mosque is largely attended by Sufi Muslims — a form of Islam considered heretical by some conservatives and extremists like the Islamic State group.

Around 50 ambulances were transferring victims to hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health. A statement issued by Egypt’s General Prosecutor Nabil Sadiq put the death toll at 305, with at least 128 others wounded.

A Health Ministry official told Al Jazeera TV that “there were many people inside the mosque — it’s only a small mosque.”

Gunmen shot worshippers fleeing the initial attack, he added.

Image: People sit next to bodies of worshippers

People sit next to bodies of worshippers killed in Friday’s mosque attack.