President Abdel-Fattah Sisi of Egypt on Wednesday ordered his military command to use all force necessary to secure the Sinai peninsula within the next three months.
Newsmen report that on Friday 235 were killed after suspected militants set off a bomb and opened fire at a mosque in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai province.
The attack on Friday targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers there, two eyewitnesses and a security source said.
Sisi, addressing his new chief of staff without giving details on any operations, said: “It is your responsibility to secure and stabilize Sinai within the next three months.
““You can use all brute force necessary.”
No group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s mosque attack, but Egyptian forces have been battling a stubborn Islamic State affiliate in the North Sinai for more than three years and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers.
Officials called it the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.
The scale and ruthlessness of the assault, in an area racked by an Islamist insurgency, sent shock waves across the nation not just for the number of deaths but also for the choice of target.
Attacks on mosques are rare in Egypt, where the Islamic State has targeted Coptic Christian churches and pilgrims but avoided Muslim places of worship.
The attack injected a new element into Egypt’s struggle with militants because most of the victims were Sufi Muslims, who practice a mystical form of Islam that the Islamic State and other Sunni extremist groups deem heretical.
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