Egypt’s Sufis will stay indoors to mark birth of prophet Muhammad

Source: The Guardian

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Following Friday’s attack on a mosque in north Sinai, in which 305 were killed, annual parade is cancelled

People hold candles at vigil in Cairo
 A vigil in Cairo for the victims of Friday’s attack in north Sinai. Photograph: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty

Egypt’s Sufi worshippers have said they will go ahead with celebrations to commemorate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad despite an attack on a mosque in the Sinai peninsula that left 305 dead and 128 injured.

The attack on al-Rawda Mosque in the northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abed on Friday was the most deadly in modern Egyptian history. A bomb tore through the house of worship just after Friday prayers, killing many of those inside including 27 children.

Egypt’s public prosecutor, Nabil Sadeq, said that up to 30 militants then surrounded the main entrances to the mosque and 12 of its windows with four-wheel-drive vehicles before opening fire on those inside. The militants reportedly then walked among the dead shooting those they believed were still breathing.

While there is yet to be any claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack, witnesses recounted seeing militants flying the black banners of Wilayat al-Sinai (the Governorate of Sinai), who pledged allegiance to Isis in 2014. Associated Press reported on Sunday that elders in the village had been warned by Isis operatives to stop collaborating with security forces and not to hold Sufi rituals to commemorate the birth of Muhammad.

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