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Across the country, thousands have been arrested in a crackdown on suspected Islamists as well as against other dissenters and critics, raising concern about human rights violations.
Seeking to spread the violence, militants over the past year have carried out deadly bombings on churches in the capital of Cairo and other cities, killing dozens of Christians.
The militants blocked off escape routes with burning cars, three police officers on the scene told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.
Muslim worshipers stand outside the al-Rawdah mosque after it came under attack by militants in Bir al-Abd, 40 km from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish, Egypt, on Nov. Egyptian state media reports that more than 100 people died in a bombing and subsequent shooting at the mosque.Addressing the nation later on television, he said Egypt is waging a battle against militancy on behalf of the rest of the world, a declaration he has often made in seeking international support for the fight.