By Jahnvi Upreti
More than 300 Egyptian civilians were killed following a coordinated attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Nov. 24, The Washington Post reported.
The massacre is the deadliest in Egypt’s recent history, according to USNews.
Images of the aftermath showed many bodies of men, women and children lined up in rows and covered in bloody sheets, according to USA Today.
The attackers arrived in four off-road vehicles, planting and detonating bombs around the mosque and shooting at the worshippers inside, according to USNews.
“It included everyone inside, those outside and those coming in from the street. Even those trying to escape from the mosque were not spared,” schoolteacher and survivor Magdy Rezk told USNews.
The Egyptian military organized airstrikes on the machinery and vehicles used in the attacks, according to The Washington Post.
Wilayat Sinai, the Islamic state organization in Egypt, claimed responsibility for the attack. Egypt has been combatting the organization situated in the Sinai Peninsula for an extended period of time, according to The Washington Post
This attack is the deadliest terror attack in modern Egyptian history, surpassing the October 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner over the peninsula, which killed all 224 passengers onboard. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the destruction according to The Washington Post.
Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ordered the chief of the military, General Mohamed Farid Hegazy, to use all power needed, especially within the next three months, to protect Egypt from insurgents in the Sinai Peninsula, according to USNews.
The attack occurred a few months prior to the next Egyptian presidential election, in which al-Sisi is running for re-election. Sisi was regarded as a figure for stability and peace in the northern Sinai Peninsula following the violent upheavals that began after Egypt’s 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak, according to USNews.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, has also spoken out regarding the attack, and urged the Egyptian armed forces to obliterate the Islamist occupancy in the Sinai Peninsula in a speech that aired on national Egyptian television, USNews reported.
President Donald Trump tweeted in response to the attack to give his condolences to Egypt and al-Sisi. Trump called for the U.S. to get “TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before” by advocating for the Mexican border wall as well as the Muslim ban, according to USA Today.