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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Terror attack in North Sinai dominates the airwaves

Friday’s deadly terror attack on North Sinai’s Al Rawda Mosque, which left 305 civilians dead, topped the airwaves last night.

Four of more than 100 injured are in critical condition, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary. The remainder are all stable and undergoing surgeries as needed. Tahya Misr Fund Executive Director Mohamed Ashmawy told El Hosary that the fund launched a donation drive for the victims and their families. It also has a bank account dedicated to developing North Sinai (watch the full episode here, runtime: 4:00:48).

Al Rawda Mosque’s Imam, Mohamed Abdel Fattah, told a Kol Youm correspondent that the attack began a few short minutes into the Friday sermon he was delivering. Abdel Fattah said he heard gunshots inside the mosque, followed by explosions outside. He said he was unable to get a look at the perpetrators because he lost consciousness when several of the worshippers stampeded his minbar (watch, runtime: 12:15).

Amr Adib referred to an issue of Daesh’s English-language online magazine, Rumiyah, in which the group’s “emir” in Sinai pointed to Sufism as one of the biggest concerns in the region. Speaking in an interview with the magazine, the terrorist reportedly stated point-blank that the group plans to kill all Sufis in the Al Rawda area of North Sinai (watch, runtime: 9:35).

Deutsche Welle’s correspondent in North Sinai, Hatem El Bolok, drove the point home, telling Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi that Al Rawda Mosque had previously been threatened with attacks for its Sufi practices. El Bolok also said that the attackers most likely reached the mosque through the desert, since the roads leading to the mosque are heavily guarded by security checkpoints. He also made the point that many terrorists are not hiding out in the mountains, but living among the local population, making the job of security forces that much more challenging (watch, runtime: 29:49).

Supreme Anti-Terrorism Council member Khaled Okasha praised the official response to the incident, telling Lamees that statements on the attack were released in a timely manner throughout the day. He also lauded state institutions’ treatment of the victims’ families, saying that their professionalism helped to garner international support early on (watch, runtime: 6:24).

Lamees also hosted Al Azhar Islamic Research Academy member Abdullah Al Naggar, who said Al Azhar does not need to designate the terrorists as infidels — the violation of the sanctity of a house of God did that for them (watch, runtime: 36:38).

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