At least 305 people were killed when a horde of militants detonated bombs at a mosque in Egypt before unleashing a torrent of bullets at fleeing worshipers, New York Daily news reported.
The carefully coordinated assault in the Sinai Peninsula marked the deadliest terror attack in the nation’s modern history.
Scores of Sufi Muslims were finishing Friday prayers when a bomb ripped through the Al Rawda mosque in Bir al-Abed sometime midday, officials and witnesses said.
Panicked worshipers sprinted outside only to be met by some 40 gunmen lying in wait, some of them in four-wheel-drive vehicles.
“The mosque has two exits, and both were covered by the terrorists, who were parked in cars and started firing at everyone who tried to escape,” a survivor told the Los Angeles Times.
The militants blocked off the scene by blowing up cars in the road.
They also lingered outside the mosque to target first-responders, firing several rounds at the first wave of ambulances that eventually arrived, witnesses said.
“They were shooting at people as they left the mosque,” a witness told Reuters. “They were shooting at the ambulances too.”
One witness told the New York Times that he helped collect the bodies of 25 children.
The attack left a trail of corpses scattered around the grounds of the mosque.
The scene inside was just as grim. Photos showed dozens of bodies laid out on the carpeted floor, most of them covered in white sheets stained red with blood.
“It was a horrible scene. There were bodies everywhere,” a witness who identified himself as Mahmoud told the Los Angeles Times.
The militants appeared to have slipped away before police arrived — and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.