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Over 230 people have been killed by militants in the small village of al-Rawda, with a further 109 injured. The bomb and gun attack targeted worshipers taking part in Friday prayers.

The attack is the first large-scale Jihadi assault to take place against Egyptian Muslims in recent times. Militants in the area have previously targeted security forces rather than civilians. It is believed the mosque was targeted because of its popularity with followers of Sufism, a branch of Sunni Islam regarded as heresy by certain Jihadist groups including so-called Islamic State.

Sufis are accepted across most of the Muslim world, but they have been threatened by IS in recent years.

Sufis revere saints and shrines, which IS considers being idolatry. Two men reported to be Sufi clerics were beheaded by IS in the region last year.

Pictures from the scene have emerged showing scores of bodies covered in blood on the floor of the mosque. The high number of casualties is believed to have overwhelmed local hospitals.

President Sisi has announced three days of mourning and threatened to respond to the attack with "brute force".

Around 40 Gunmen opened fire on worshipers

Egyptian State-run newspaper Al-Ahram has reported that the militants bombed the mosque before opening fire on the fleeing worshippers. Cars were set on fire to block access to the mosque with the gunmen later targeting some of the ambulances that arrived to treat the victims.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Sinai Province, a group affiliated with IS has been active in the region for some time.

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Hundreds of policemen and soldiers have been killed in attacks carried out by Sinai Province group, which has also targeted members of the Coptic community.

Just hours later, Egyptian security forces are reported to have carried out air strikes in mountains around Bir al-Abed in response to the attack.

Ismailia prosecutors and high state security prosecutors have been deployed to the scene to carry out investigations.

The shocking attack on a place of worship has caused outrage amongst Egyptians. The attack has also been met with condemnation from the international community.

The attack is not the first terror-related incident to have occurred in the Sinai region. 18 policemen were killed by Sinai Province in September, with the group also claiming responsibility for the bombing of a Russian plane in 2015 which killed all 224 people on board.