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Timeline: Dessert fear - How Sinai became a target for terrorism

25 November 2017

At least 50 people have been killed after militants attacked a mosque in the north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the Sky News Arabia TV channel reported on Friday.

View of the Rawda mosque after a gun and bombing attack on November 24, 2017.

Most of the attacks, which recently expanded the city and some other cities, have been claimed by the Islamic State branch in Sinai.

Hours after the attack, Egypt's military launched air strikes on targets in mountainous areas around Bir al-Abed, security sources and witnesses said.

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Trump said the U.S. needs to "get tougher and smarter than ever before", adding, "need the wall, need the ban!" adding that he will call the president of Egypt to discuss the terrorist attack. "India resolutely supports the fight against all forms of terrorism and stands with the people as well as Government of Egypt", PM Modi said.

US President Donald Trump, in a post on Twitter on Friday, called the assault a "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack".

The White House also said in a statement that "the global community must continue to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups that threaten the United States and our partners and we must collectively discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence".

"Strongly condemn the barbaric terrorist attack on a place of worship in Egypt. We can not & will not allow terrorists to win", Pence tweeted. Our condolences & prayers are with the victims & their families.

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Gunment shot worshippers fleeing the initial attack, he added. "This terrorist act will strengthen our resolve, steadfastness and will to stand up to, resist and battle against terrorism".

The security officers said the men opened fire on worshipers during prayers while driving in off-road vehicles. ISIS' affiliate in Egypt claimed that attack.

Egypt is suffering a wave of terrorist attacks, mostly centered in Sinai where militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since the army-led ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

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Timeline: Dessert fear - How Sinai became a target for terrorism