In a suspected militant attack, at least 184 people have been killed in Egypt’s North Sinai province, the country’s state media reported on Friday.
The attack was carried out at a mosque called Al Rawda in the town of Bir al-Arish. Witnesses say that the mosque was targeted during Friday prayers.
The Associate Press while quoting the local police said men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers.
Egypt has been fighting an Islamist insurgency in the region, which has intensified since 2013. There have been regular attacks blamed on militants on the Sinai peninsula, but this is the deadliest assault of its kind.
Pictures from the scene show rows of bloodied victims inside the mosque. More than 100 people were also wounded, reports say.
One report said the target appeared to be supporters of the security forces who were praying at the mosque.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is to meet security officials to discuss the incident, Egypt’s private Extra News TV reported.
It is not yet known who was behind Friday’s attack.
Jihadist militants have been waging an insurgency in recent years, stepping up attacks after Egypt’s military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
Hundreds of police, soldiers and civilians have been killed since then, mostly in attacks carried out by Sinai Province group, which is affiliated to so-called Islamic State (IS).
In September, at least 18 policemen were killed in an attack on a convoy near al-Arish by militants affiliated with IS.
The jihadists have also killed dozens of people in attacks targeting Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority elsewhere in the country.
They also claimed they planted the bomb that brought down a Russian plane carrying tourists in Sinai in 2015,which killed killing 224 people.