Blast Hits Mosque in Egypt’s Sinai
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - An explosion outside a mosque in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula -- which occurred during Friday prayers -- has left at least 54 people dead and scores more injured, according to local health officials.
“The explosion, which occurred near the Al-Rawdah Mosque in the city of Al-Arish, also led to the injury of about 75 people,” Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mujahid said in a televised statement, Anadolu Agency reported.
Injured persons, he added, had since been taken to the nearby Bir al-Abd Hospital for treatment.
According to local security sources, who spoke anonymously due to the sensitivity of the issue, unidentified gunmen had opened fire on the area in the immediate wake of the bomb blast.
The Sinai Peninsula has been the epicenter of a low-intensity militant insurgency since mid-2013, when the army ousted and imprisoned Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a bloody military coup.
The insurgency has been largely confined to the northern Sinai Peninsula, but sporadic attacks have also occurred on the mainland, including capital Cairo.