Funerals were held across the country for the victims of Friday's mosque attack that claimed at least 305 lives, including 27 children. No group has claimed responsibility so far, while investigators point fingers at Daesh.

Relatives of of injured worshippers grieve outside Suez Canal University Hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, Saturday, November 25, 2017, a day after an attack on a mosque. (Photo AP)
Relatives of of injured worshippers grieve outside Suez Canal University Hospital in Ismailia, Egypt, Saturday, November 25, 2017, a day after an attack on a mosque. (Photo AP) (AP)

A day after Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el Sisi vowed to respond forcefully against the perpetrators of Sinai mosque attack that killed at least 305 worshippers, the country was gripped by a profound sense of grief on Saturday.

Of those killed 27 were children and 128 more people were wounded, MENA state news agency said on Saturday.

There has been no claim of responsibility yet but a statement from the public prosecutor's office said the gunmen were carrying Daesh flags and that there were between 25-30 of them. 

Sisi declared three days of mourning which began on Saturday, the day after the terror attack on the Rawda mosque, roughly 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of el Arish.

Imam of the mosque, Mohamed Abdelfatah, said the attack began minutes after his weekly sermon commenced, with the bomb ripping through the mosque's busy compound and armed militants entering and shooting at the congregation.

"While I was climbing the stairs to give the Friday speech, I heard the sound of explosions. A moment later, gunmen entered the mosque and started shooting at all congregants. The sound was extremely loud. When people heard the explosion, they started to flee. I saw people piled in heaps. The gunmen shot at all moving targets." he said.

In a televised speech the president pledged to "respond with brutal force", adding that "the army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period".

TRT World's Maleen Saeed has more on the story.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that those responsible for the mosque attack in Egypt had no relation with Islam.

"How can we call them Muslims? They are murderers, they have no relation with Islam," he said, addressing a graduation ceremony of non-commissioned officers in northwestern Balikesir province.

Mourners paid their respects at the funerals for the hundreds of victims across the country.

A few hours after the attack, the Egyptian army said an aerial raid was launched in which vehicles used in the attack were destroyed along with "terrorist" locations where weapons and ammunition were stocked.

The strikes targeted areas close to the town of el Arish.

TRT World spoke to journalist Nuria Teson about the impact the attack will have on Egypt. 

No responsibility claimed yet

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assault that is the deadliest yet in Egypt.

Egypt's security forces are battling Daesh in northern Sinai, where militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since fighting there intensified over the last three years.

Militants have mostly targeted security forces in their attacks, but have also tried to expand beyond the peninsula by hitting Egyptian Christian churches and pilgrims.

Worldwide condemnation

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack, describing it as “horrible and cowardly,” and called his counterpart Sisi to offer condolences.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with Egypt.

Paris turned off Eiffel Tower lights at Friday midnight in tribute to the victims of the attack. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies