Sisi vows to respond to Sinai attack 'with brute force'

Egyptian President condemns Sinai mosque attack in which at least 235 people were killed.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi promised to respond “using brute force” after a deadly terrorist attack on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula killed at least 235 people.

Sisi said that the military and police “will avenge our martyrs” and will respond “using brute force against those fragments of terrorists,” quoted the Al-Ahram newspaper.

“This evil terrorist attack will only make us more determined, solid, and strong to fight against terrorism,” he stressed.

The president added that current events in Sinai are “a reflection of efforts in fighting terrorism,” telling Egyptians to be sure that the country’s current fight is the “most honorable against the evil powers.”

"We will fight terrorism with unbreakable power and determination," Sisi stressed.

The attack began when a bomb explosion ripped through the Rawda mosque, frequented by Sufis and located roughly 40 kilometers west of the North Sinai capital of El-Arish.

Gunmen then opened fire on the worshipers, who had gathered for weekly Friday prayers, as they attempted to flee and used the congregants' vehicles they had set alight to block routes to the mosque, reported AFP.

The state prosecutor's office said in a statement that 235 people were killed and 109 wounded in the attack, the scale of which is unprecedented in a four-year insurgency by Islamist extremist groups.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the attack on Twitter.

“Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!” he wrote.

“Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life. We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt,” Trump later tweeted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to Sisi, calling the attack "striking for its cruelty and cynicism".

British foreign minister Boris Johnson decried the "barbaric attack", while his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian labelled it "despicable", reported AFP.

Most of the attacks in the Sinai Peninsula have been claimed by the Sinai Province, the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS) which pledged allegiance to the jihadists in 2014.

Last month, ISIS claimed an attack in northern Sinai which claimed the lives of six Egyptian soldiers.

In September, ISIS killed 18 people in an attack on a security convoy in Egypt's North Sinai.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)