At least 235 people are thought to have died after suspected Islamist militants launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai Province. The militants targeted the al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed during Friday prayers. According to the BBC, local police said the men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers after detonating a bomb. It was reported that the gunmen opened fire on ambulances attending the dead and injured and Egyptian state media has showed images of the aftermath of the carnage, showing injured victims and bodies which were covered with blankets.

It is thought that dozens of children are among the dead.

One of the deadliest attacks during insurgency

Egyptian security forces have been fighting an Islamist insurgency in the North Sinai region which has intensified since 2013. The Islamic State affiliated group which has been behind the insurgency has killed hundreds of civilians and police officers during the fighting, and although nobody has so far come forward to claim responsibility for Friday's deadly attack, it is thought that this attack is the worst in terms of casualties since the insurgency began, and one of the worst acts of terrorism in Egypt's history. Condemnation of the attack has been swift from many world leaders.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has convened an emergency meeting and has declared three days of national mourning.

Arabian news channels have been reporting that the worshippers that were targeted by the militants are Sufi's, a sect of Islam which is regarded by fundamentalists as apostates because they pay homage to saints and shrines. The wave of violence which has hit the Northern Sinai province worsened in 2013, after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led an overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The attack on the al-Radwa mosque is one in a string of deadly attacks that have hit Egypt this year, back in September an attack on a police convoy killed 18 police officers in the Northern Sinai province.

The have been many deadly terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe this year. Earlier in the year, a massive bomb attack killed at least 300 people in the Somalian capital Mogadishu, it is thought that the Islamist group Al-Shabaab was behind the attack.

Europe has also faced terrorism on its own shores this year, with many fatal attacks in the United Kingdom and Spain rocking the continent, killing dozens of people. It is feared that the death toll from this latest shocking act of terrorism will sadly rise, making the attack on the al-Radwa mosque one of the deadliest terror attacks of 2017.