People walk past a mosque in the northern city of El Arish, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, which was attacked on Friday. Hundreds were killed and injured in a bombing and gunfire attack targeting worshippers leaving Friday prayers. Picture: EPA

Cape Town - The Claremont Main Road Masjid (CMRM) in Cape Town strongly condemns the cowardly bombing of worshippers attending the weekly Friday jumu`ah congregational prayers at the Al-Rawda masjid in the Northern Sinai region of Egypt, Imam Rashied Omar said on Sunday.

"We note with deep sadness that this brutal act of terror has left 235 people dead and scores of others maimed. We extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and pray that God, in His infinite Mercy, will grant those killed salvation in the hereafter.

"We also note with deep concern that the masjid, which was targeted, is aligned to the ahl al-tasuwwuf or mystical tradition in Islam. In light of this we call upon Muslims to redouble their efforts at promoting even greater tolerance and an ethics of disagreement (adab al-ikhitilaf) within our ranks," Omar said.

According to media reports, witnesses said gunmen set off a bomb at the end of Friday prayers and then opened fire as people tried to flee, shooting at ambulances and setting fire to cars to block roads. 

The gunmen who attacked the mosque reportedly brandished an Islamic State flag as they opened fire through doorways and windows, killing more than 300 worshippers, including two dozen children.

No group had claimed responsibility, but Egyptian forces were battling a stubborn Islamic State affiliate in the region, one of the surviving branches of the militant group after it suffered defeats by US-backed forces in Iraq and Syria, Reuters news agency reported.
African News Agency