The Islamic State group's Egypt branch has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, and also civilians accused of working with the authorities, in attacks in the north of the Sinai peninsula, over the years. Two groups were firing at ambulances to deter them, said Mohamed, a witness.
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz sent a cable of condolences and consolation to Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on the victims of a terrorist attack on a mosque, in Northern Sinai.
The coordinated attack targeted the al-Rawdah mosque, which is attended mostly by Sufi Muslims.
Other reports have said that further east, the Arish-Rafah road has been closed, according to Al Jazeera. Locals took up weapons to help thwart the attackers, the official said.
Egypt later said it would delay the opening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza after the attack due to security concerns.
Egypt has suffered one of its deadliest terrorist attacks in its modern history.
Smoke rises after an airstrike in the Sinai city of Rafah as seen from Gaza
In October 31 2015 ISIL-SP destroyed a Russian plane carrying 224 passengers, all of whom perished in the explosion.
The White House also said in a statement that "the worldwide community must continue to strengthen its efforts to defeat terrorist groups that threaten the United States and our partners and we must collectively discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence".
UK Prime Minister Theresa May: Appalled by the sickening attack on a mosque in North Sinai. "My honest condolences to all those affected by such a barbaric act".
North Sinai, which stretches from the Suez Canal eastwards to the Gaza Strip and Israel, has always been a security headache for Egyptian security forces because of smuggling.
On the Jordanian royal family's official Twitter account, King Abdullah II condemned what he called a "heinous terrorist attack".
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