At least 184 people have been killed following an attack by suspected militants on Egypt’s restive North Sinai province, state media said.
A further 125 people were injured in the attack at the Al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir el-Abd, west of the provincial capital of al-Arish.
According to local sources, a bomb blast ripped through the doors of the mosque as Friday prayers were finishing, before militants in four off-road vehicles approached and opened fire on worshippers.
The gunmen also fired upon those attempting to flee the mosque, and at the ambulances that arrived to take the casualties away.
North Sinai province has seen ongoing conflict for the past three years, as the Egyptian army battles an Islamist insurgency – backed by Islamic State – and there have been a number of attacks on civilians in the area during this time.
The attack in Bir el-Abd was one of the deadliest in the not only the region, but also the country in recent memory, though, marking a major escalation in Cairo’s battle with regional insurgents.
No group claimed responsibility for the assault yet, but given the location of the attack and the ongoing insurgency there, it is expected the attack was the result of Islamic State-affiliated militants, known as Sinai Province.
In July, at least 23 soldiers were killed when suicide car bombs hit two military checkpoints in Sinai, an attack Sinai Province militants claimed responsibility for.