Survivors of the massacre recounted how the blasts started only two minutes into the sermon. Worshippers fled when they heard the explosions outside and the attackers entered the mosque amid all the panic and started to fire around them.
Authorities say that dozens of terrorists, up to thirty of them, all dressed in camouflaged clothing and brandishing the black Islamic State group’s flag, surrounded the mosque and started to shoot at the hundreds of worshipers who had gathered for weekly prayers.
It is thought that the attack was perpetrated by the jihadist Islamic State terrorist group. One potential reason for the North Sinai Rawda mosque being targeted could be the fact that it is associated with followers of the Sufi branch of Sunni Islam which the Islamic State group has slammed.
Awwad al-Awwad, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information, has sent messages of support to Egypt following this terrible attack. His comments came earlier this week during a meeting at the event held in Cairo for the Executive Office of Arab Ministers.
The Saudi minister said that the country must be resistant when it comes to further attacks that jeopardise the stability and security of Egypt. Al-Awwad also emphasised that the fight against terrorism is an effort that needs to be made together with other nations. He said it is important for it to be a joint effort and pointed out that there should be different methods employed to ensure that it is effective.
He said in his speech: “Islam’s dialect has moved from individuals to countries and leading it is Iran. The Iranian regime is the first supporter, the founder and the spiritual father to terrorism. The Iranian regime has transformed terrorism from an individual act and developed it to become an institutional one supported militarily, financially and has the support of the media.”
Al-Awwad pointed out that Iran is acting the way it is in the region because it wants to have political authority across the whole of the Middle East.
He emphasised that it is absolutely necessary for the international community to work together to fight terrorism and the sponsorship of terrorist groups. “We must be united to stop the attempts of some media platforms calling for hatred and extremism and support terrorism.”
The Iranian regime is meddling in several nations across the region and more and more leaders are calling Iran out for its belligerence. When the prime minister of Lebanon announced his resignation earlier this month, he said that one of the main reasons was Iran’s interference in his country. Iran was gaining increasing influence in Lebanon, partly thanks to its proxy Hezbollah which also benefits from political sway there.