‘Attack triggers military alliance’

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Sunday an attack on an Egyptian mosque that killed more than 300 worshippers would galvanise an Islamic military coalition that aimed to counter “terrorism and extremism”.

Top defence officials from 40 Muslim-majority nation’s met in Riyadh on Sunday. They are part of an alliance gathered together two years ago by Prince Mohammed, who is also Saudi defence minister.

The crown prince has said he would encourage a more moderate and tolerant version of Islam in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Prince Mohammed told delegates that Friday’s attack in Egypt “was a very painful occurrence and must make us contemplate in an international and powerful way the role of this terrorism and extremism”.

Gunmen carrying the flag of Islamic State attacked the mosque in North Sinai.

The group of Muslim nations, called the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, has yet to take any decisive action.

Officials say the group would allow members to request or offer assistance to each other to fight militants.

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