State condolences poured in for Egypt, including messages from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., Russia, France and Britain condemning the violence.
President Donald Trump denounced what he called a “horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshippers in Egypt.” “The world cannot tolerate terrorism” he said on Twitter, “we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!
” Islamic militants stepped up their campaign of violence in northern Sinai after the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013.
Islamic militants, including the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith.
The startling bloodshed, which also left more than 130 wounded, was the latest sign of how more than three years of fighting in Sinai has been unable to crush an insurgency waged by the IS affiliate.
The result has been a long, grinding conflict centered on el-Arish and nearby villages and desert mountains.