Egyptian village where mosque was attacked had been warned

Source: Yahoo News

BY HAMZA HENDAWI

,

Associated Press
Discarded shoes of victims remain outside Al-Rawda Mosque in Bir al-Abd northern Sinai, Egypt. a day after attackers killed hundreds of worshippers, on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Friday’s assault was Egypt’s deadliest attack by Islamic extremists in the country’s modern history, a grim milestone in a long-running fight against an insurgency led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.(AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) — Elders of a village in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula where militants killed 305 people in a mosque had been warned by Islamic State operatives to stop collaborating with security forces and to suspend rituals associated with Islam’s mystical Sufi movement, security officials and residents said Sunday.

The latest warning came as recently as a week ago, telling villagers in Al-Rawdah not to hold Sufi rituals on Nov. 29-30 to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, according to residents and the officials who work for security and military intelligence agencies operating in Sinai.

Local operatives of the Islamic State affiliate in Sinai consider Sufis to be heretics who should be killed. Ahmed Saqr, an expert on the Sinai insurgency, said militants had publicly identified the mosque, which also serves as a Sufi center, as a target months ago.

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