Egypt will 'vigorously' respond to North Sinai attack: Sisi

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Egypt has delayed the opening of the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing due to security concerns after a North Sinai attack on a mosque killed more than 200 people, MENA state news agency said Friday, citing the Palestinian embassy in Cairo.

Eyewitnesses reported ambulances ferrying casualties from the scene to nearby hospitals after the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of Arish city, was targeted.

He said the terrorists killed innocent people, did not distinguish between children, youth or elders, and the attack was a war crime. The affiliate also is believed to have been behind the 2016 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 226 people.

El-Sisi said that the military and police "will avenge our martyrs" and will respond "using brute force against those fragments of terrorists" in the coming period to ensure stability and security.

Resident Ashraf el-Hefny said numerous victims were workers at a nearby salt factory who had come for Friday services at the mosque.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May: Appalled by the sickening attack on a mosque in North Sinai.

The attackers used automatic weapons, said Diaa Rashwan, the chairman of the state information service. "This terrorist act will strengthen our resolve, steadfastness and will to stand up to, resist and battle against terrorism".

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Appalled by the sickening attack on a mosque in North Sinai. "My honest condolences to all those affected by such a barbaric act".

A bomb explosion ripped through the mosque before gunmen opened fire on the worshippers gathered for weekly Friday prayers, officials said.

On the Jordanian royal family's official Twitter account, King Abdullah II condemned what he called a "heinous terrorist attack".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also strongly denounced the terror attack, voicing his solidarity with Egypt.

Condolences with all those in Egypt affected by this evil and cowardly act.

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah stressed the Gulf state's support for Egypt, the security and stability of its people and all measures taken by the Egyptian government to face terrorism.

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