Egypt has blamed ISIS fighters for the attack carried out during Friday prayers at a mosque in the country’s Sinai Peninsula.
The Egyptian government placed the blame on the group citing witnesses who saw the attackers carrying ISIS flags.
Egypt’s Chief Prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, had also accused ISIS of carrying out the attack.
Mr. Sadeq also said that the death toll has witnessed a dramatic increase from the previously announced 235 fatalities to 305 worshipers, including 27 children, while another 128 were injured.
He also said that the attack was carried out by 25-30 militants who arrived at the mosque in five all-terrain vehicles and destroying seven cars parked outside belonging to the worshipers.
Worshipers told Sadeq’s office that some of the attackers wore masks, but all wore military-like uniforms.
One of the survivors of the attack said that some of the inscription on the ISIS flags read, “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God”.
A witness described the perpetrators as having stationed themselves at the mosque’s three exits and deliberately attacking people who tried to escape the building, as well as passing vehicles, after first shooting some who were “kneeling in prayer.”
“The sight was horrific,” the witness, Ibrahim Shetewy, told ABC News in Arabic, adding, “We carried whomever we found alive and took them in pickups and private cars until more ambulances could come and help.”
Mr. Shetewy described the mosque in question as one frequented by travellers on their way in and out of the area. He said the building is “huge” and was lined with bodies and a large quantity of shell casings following the attack.
“There was a woman waiting outside for her husband and young child to finish praying; she came inside and found them dead next to each other,” Mr. Shetewy said.
He added that people are lined up at a local hospital to donate blood.
Since the attack, the Egyptian military has carried out multiple airstrikes on bases it says are used by ISIS militants in the restive North Sinai region.
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