President Trump on Friday said that “the world cannot tolerate terrorism” following carnage at a mosque in Egypt resulting in major bloodshed.
“Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt,” he tweeted.
“The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!” Trump added.
Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Trump was responding to an attack at al-Rawdah mosque in the Egyptian town of Bir al-Abd earlier Friday.
Militants set off explosives at the place of worship before spraying it with gunfire, killing at least 200 people and wounding at least 130 more.
Three police officers on the scene said that the attackers opened fire from four off-road vehicles on worshippers inside the building during Friday’s sermon.
The attackers then cut off escape routes by blowing up cars and leaving their flaming wrecks blocking the roads away from the area.
The incident now ranks as the deadliest of its kind on Egyptian citizens by Islamic militants, and it also marks the first major militant attack on a mosque there.
The mosque in question was frequented by Sufis, who are members of Islam’s mystical movement.
Islamic militants – including the local affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – consider Sufis heretics due to their less literal interpretations of Islam.
The ISIS affiliate has long waged a campaign of violence in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula for years before Friday’s attack.
ISIS has targeted area Sufis several times in the past, notably beheading a major figure from the religious movement last year and posting photographs of the killing online.
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has since convened a high-level meeting of his country’s security officials and declared three days of national mourning there.
Previous attacks by ISIS affiliates in the region have targeted mainly military and police assets, but individual assassinations are not uncommon.
The terrorist group’s regional affiliate has also targeted individuals the organization deems as government spies or religious heretics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.