A picture taken on November 25, 2017, shows the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish, after a gun and bombing attack. AFP/STR
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Egypt was reeling Monday from the horrific militant attack on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed 305 people two days earlier -- the deadliest assault by Islamic extremists in its modern history and a grim milestone in a long-running fight against the insurgency led by an Daesh (ISIS) affiliate.Survivors and Egypt's top prosecutor have given accounts of the massacre that unfolded as more than two dozen assailants, carrying a black Daesh banner, unleashed gunfire and explosions during Friday prayers at the Al-Rawdah Mosque in a sleepy village by the same name near the small town of Bir al-Abd.Friday's attack targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of a mystic movement within Islam. Islamic militants, including Daesh, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith.Egypt's Daesh affiliate has also claimed responsibility for the 2016 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 people over Sinai. That attack decimated the country's already ailing tourism industry.Friday's assault was the first major militant attack on a Muslim congregation, and it eclipsed past attacks, even dating back to a previous Islamic militant insurgency in the 1990s. The local Daesh affiliate has targeted Sufis in the past.
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