The Egyptian airstrikes hit a number of vehicles of militants involved in the deadly attack on a mosque in North Sinai province that left 270 killed, said an Egyptian military spokesman in a statement on Friday.
“In addition, the air forces targeted a number of hideouts containing weapons and ammunition that belong to the extremists,” military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in the statement, XInhua news agency reported.
The military raids came several hours after a terrorist attack on Friday noon against a mosque at a small village in North Sinai that killed 270 worshippers and wounded over 100 others.
Terror attacks started to rise in Egypt following the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Since then, most of the attacks focused on restive North Sinai and killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, before they later started to extend to other provinces and target the Coptic minority in their churches.
Now they started to target the Muslim worshipers at mosques for the first time, which is an unprecedented development in terrorist tactics in the country according to security experts.
Fingers are pointed at a Sinai-based group loyal to the Islamic State, which has claimed most of the large terrorist operations in Egypt over the past few years and whose affiliates are currently facing massive security crackdown in Syria and Iraq.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said in a televised speech Friday evening that “this mean, sinful terrorist attack will only increase our strength, resolution and unity in our fight against terrorism,” vowing that “we will respond fiercely against this minor group of extremists and terrorists.”
The Egyptian President received phone calls on Friday from many world leaders who offered their condolences over the tragic attack and voiced their support for the North African country in its war against terrorism.