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Egyptian TV host suspended for suggesting attacks on churches are more understandable than on mosques

(Reuters/Mohamed Soliman)Damaged vehicles are seen after a bomb exploded at Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed, Egypt November 25, 2017.

An Egyptian TV host has been suspended after she suggested that it was more understandable for terrorists to carry out attacks on Christian churches than on mosques.

The Sada al-Balad Media Group suspended Rasha Magdi following her remarks which were made in reference to the terrorist attack on the al-Rawda mosque in North Sinai last week.

Magdi reportedly went off script during her show, in which she described the attacks on the police and the army as "mutual violence," and suggested that the attacks against Christians are more understandable than attacks on Muslims.

"We saw attacks by terrorists on the police and army, and we said this is mutual violence. These extremist groups have attacked churches and we said that they think it is a [different] religion, not Islam, and it is hostile to them, and then we said it is okay, but how [can these groups attack] Muslims?" the TV host said, according to Egypt Independent.

In addition to her suspension, the network reportedly referred Magdi to an internal investigation.

Egypt Independent noted that several legal cases had been filed against Magdi for inciting hatred against Egypt's Coptic Christians when she worked for the state television network.

The assault on al-Rawdah mosque on Friday was said to be the first terrorist attack on a Muslim place of worship in Egypt. At least 305 people were killed and 128 people were injured in what has been described as one of the worst terrorist incidents in Egyptian history.

As Friday prayers were finishing, a bomb reportedly went off and 25 to 30 militants who were stationed at the mosque's main door and 12 windows started firing on the worshippers inside.

It is believed that the terrorists carried out the attack on the mosque because it was frequented by Sufis, a sect considered by many Islamic extremists to be heretical.

Shortly after the attack, the Egyptian military immediately began conducting air strikes around the area of North Sinai. According to security sources, the attacks were concentrated in several mountainous areas surrounding the mosque where militants were believed to be hiding.

On Saturday evening, the owner of Sada al-Balad Media Group, Mohamed Abu al-Enein, issued a statement commending the Egyptian police and army for its response to the attack.

"The entire Egyptian people stand united behind our valiant armed forces and the heroic police forces and, God willing, we will win in our battle against these cowards," the statement read.

"We in Egypt are one people, there is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian. All of us are equal. We live together in safety. [...] terrorism and aggression against the [people] are criminal acts," it added.

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