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    Egypt mosque attack leaves more than 184 dead in Sinai Peninsula

    CAIRO — At least 184 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and bombed a mosque in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula on Friday, state media reported. Some 125 more were injured in the attack — one of the deadliest in Egypt’s history.
    Police sources told the Associated Press that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers inside the mosque during a sermon. NBC News could not immediately independently verify that account.
    Three police officers told the AP that militants attacked the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, which is located about 25 miles from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish.
    Around 50 ambulances were transferring victims to hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health.
    State television put the death toll at 184, with 125 others wounded.
    Two eyewitnesses and a security source told Reuters that the suspected militants targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers.
    President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared three days of mourning after the attack.
    Egypt’s security forces have been battling an Islamist militants in northern Sinai for years, but the violence picked up after the 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. A new group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for a bloody October attack on Egyptian police.
    The conflict has killed hundreds of soldiers and militants over the years, although journalists are banned from the area and exact numbers are unclear.
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